Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Math Windows

From Fish to Infinity by Steven Strogatz is a New York Times opinion piece that's the first in a planned series about math.

From the article:

I’ll be writing about the elements of mathematics, from pre-school to grad school, for anyone out there who’d like to have a second chance at the subject — but this time from an adult perspective. It’s not intended to be remedial. The goal is to give you a better feeling for what math is all about and why it’s so enthralling to those who get it.

I'm going to follow this series. My math foundation is shaky. Test scores indicated that the aptitude was there, but I could have benefited from math teachers who knew how to teach children who struggled with math. (Smaller class sizes would have helped, too.)

I would like to find a book that helps grownups review and redo their math educations properly. I've looked through some books from the library and perused reviews online, but was wondering if a reader had recommendation for books they've actually used and liked. In the meantime, I'll be hanging out with the Math Gnomes.



Thanks to Year of the Dungeon for the link.

10 comments:

adrienne said...

I have no good math-learning advice, but I wish you good luck. :)

Charlotte said...

I have been rather enjoying having a child who loves math-sometimes in our bed time chats we'll find patterns in numbers together.

I wonder if I could have been a math contender, if I hadn't been told (although my mother denies it) that I shouldn't expect to be any good at it.

Lone Star Ma said...

You're so committed to be a life-long learner. You deserve much credit for this.

Myself, I dare not venture down the neural pathway-bereft place where the spatial reasoning skills are supposed to flicker about in my brain. I could probably bushwhack some rudimentary pathways cross that undiscovered land, but I think it would take way more work than I am willing to give it.

Hannah said...

There are so many great "living books" about math out there now, which I think would have made a huge difference for a lot of us more literature-oriented folks.

I have heard really good things about the book Mathematics: A Human Endeavor, by Harold Jacobs. I think he's written some other things too; not sure how "texty" they are.

There's also a book called "Mathematicians are People Too" about the lives of famous mathematicians.

Have fun!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Let me know what you find out; I'm in the same boat.

In fact, I feel like other areas of my education were shaky, too. But I won't go on...

Saints and Spinners said...

I am going to look up Mathematics: a Human Endeavor.

This week, I feel as if I've been walking with blinders on. I hope to be able to write about some of the things I've experienced, but they need to have resolution before I can share them. I need to do a spate of work, and then visit blogs with a clear mind and light conscience!

Thank you for visiting me here.

Hobbit said...

I sympathize completely! If I think back to junior high school hard enough I think I can still hear my relationship with math crumbling. The funny thing is, I love math! Like in an "awed by the face of God" kind of way...yet I panic at the sight of it. Homeschooling my third grader is helping actually. In the mean time, I find Hannah's advice spot on. I love the books of Richard P. Feynman (hilarious and a Nobel Prize winning physicist) and am reading The Golden Ration (the story of Phi, the world's most astonishing number) by Mario Livio. Phi makes me cry, in a good way!

Lone Star Ma said...

I hope everything's okay!

tanita davis said...

I'm enjoying my foray into fish times six. He explains things with a light touch so far...

I really wish I could buy all of your math gnomes. If by the time I have that kind of money hanging around, you've sold them, will you make me more?

Saints and Spinners said...

Hobbit-- I wrote a long comment in reply to yours, but for some reason, it's not posted here. At any rate, Phi makes me cry in a good way, too.

Tanita: Of course. Of course! I seriously doubt the Math Gnomes will ever sell, though. I think of them as a showcase collection whereby I'll always have at least one listing in the shop that conveys my skills. ;)