As we are wrapping up the semester, we'll see diverse and multilayered perspectives related to the concept of what mathematics is. The specific bullet points below will be covered in hw assignments (like those due tomorrow) and activities in class and lab as well as Project 4: What is Mathematics? (a Review) due Tuesday Dec 1 (if this is one of the projects you will complete) and the final research presentations due Tuesday Dec 8.

1) First skim through the following and begin thinking about these questions (and ask me any questions as I make my way around the room).

What is Mathematics? Is math discovered or invented? Is math beautiful or ugly? Is mathematics a religion?

  • What is Mathematics? by Sanderson M. Smith
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Calvin and Hobbes

    Why are we taking math in schools? Should we be taking less of it or changing the focus? Is math binding or freeing?

  • Creative Inquiry Lessons for Life adapted from Edward Burger and Michael Starbird
  • Quantitative Literacy by Lynn Arthur Steen
  • Adding up Fuzzy Math: Teaching the Basics by Roland Minton
  • Why make Liberal Arts Majors take Math in College?
  • Down with fractions by Dennis Deturck
  • Liz Coleman on General Education
  • Math Cuffed

    What good is math? What is mathematics really like? What is the process of a mathematician like? How does their work contribute to society in general?

  • Mathematics: The Most Misunderstood Subject by Robert H. Lewis
  • Project 4 What is Mathematics: A Class Review (if this is one of the projects you will complete) due Tuesday Dec 1
  • David Blackwell and The Prisoner's Dilemma
  • Andrew Wiles and The Proof
  • Real-World Problems Being Solved by Mathematicians
  • Utility of Mathematics adapted from Angelo Mingarelli
  • Smarter Math Builds Equations for a Smarter Planet
  • IBM New Intelligence toward a Smarter Planet
  • Math It's Everywhere
  • Research Presentations: Mathematical Breakthroughs due Tuesday Dec 8

    2) Of the 11 questions above, choose just one to discuss your initial thoughts with a neighbor. Write down what question you chose and a bullet point summary of what you discussed.