Thursday, August 26, 2010

the new math, 1965

The clip below (you can find it here if it doesn't display) about the new math is from an 1965 broadcast of the CBC television program This Hour has Seven Days.

At the end of the segment, the studio audience provided generally balanced and thoughtful responses to the rather slanted questions posed by Laurier LaPierre - they voiced the concerns and issues that are perpetual companions of public education, and that we still hear today.

If you are wondering about the references to "the parachute man" at the beginning of the clip, you can see just about the full program here (or you can find it as clip #4 on this page).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

mathematical beavers

A recent post at Maxwell's Demon points to the opinion pieces of Doron Zeilberger. Many of Zeilberger's brief posts are sharp and insightful, and all are worth reading. One that caught my eye was "Opinion #95: We need both Birds and Frogs, but most of all we need good Beavers" refering to an essay written by Freeman Dyson (noted here). One theme that is constant through many of these is Zeilberger's unapologetic and enthusiastic championing of the algorithmic/computational approach to mathematics and the  use of computers as creative mathematical tools.