Outreach / Misc

The Global Math Project and More

October through December is one of the busiest of segments of my year. This year, I began the month of October at a Global Math Project Symposium which took place in New York City. I will end this period of travel at the California STEAM Symposium in San Francisco on December 11. In between those, trips to Sacramento, Palm Springs, Monterey, and Berkeley are all also on the calendar. (My wife is wondering when we’ll ever get that lawn re-seeding project done.) As the Coordinator of Outreach and the Program Director for Math & STEM Education at FPU, I am attending conferences and speaking engagements. Here is some news about the first one.

You may recall that AIMS is a partner in the Global Math Project, which had its first global event week during the week of October 10, 2017. The goals of the Project were simple but audacious: create a series of mathematical experiences for children to engage in, and that demonstrated that the doing of mathematics could be a joyful and uplifting experience. To that end, Exploding Dots was developed by Dr. James Tanton of the MAA, based upon some work he encountered while talking with Dr. James Propp of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. If you have not seen them, watch these videos at https://www.explodingdots.org/ first to get some of the enthusiasm they engender, and find a path into the wonderful world of “islands” that have been created by Scolab (a mathematical software development company from Canada).

The Symposium took place at the Courant Institute of Mathematics at the New York University (NYU) and was sponsored by the National Museum of Mathematics. Over a dozen speakers (including nine of us Ignite speakers) gave a variety of talks on how mathematics can be a joyful and exciting topic to engage in. I gave a five-minute Ignite talk which can be seen here: It was intended to focus on the effects of questioning paradigms and make a call to those in attendance to bravely continue doing so.

One other aspect of AIMS’ efforts to spread the word of GMP was my attending a local middle school to demonstrate Exploding Dots. I couched my lesson in an old puzzle that was part of the early AIMS Poster Series problems. The student response to this method was infectious and exciting to see. Seventh graders are so full of energy and I was worn out by the end of five straight periods of teaching. My hat goes off to teachers who do this day in and day out.


It’s Here! (Or will be soon)

During the week of October 10th, the efforts of a grassroots organization will come to fruition. Two years of planning, networking, prototyping, seeking support, world traveling, app building, blogging, tweeting, and oh so many other 21st century participles, will culminate in the first-ever Global Math Project. AIMS is both proud and happy to support this… Continue Reading

What Part Does Technology have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part IV)

In the final installment of my blog series concerning education and technology, I would like to look ahead at the new technology that is currently attracting interest within educational and academic research. As a reminder, this series stems from the Jean Piaget Society conference I attended which had the theme “Technology and Human Development.” In… Continue Reading

Reflecting upon Summer 2017

It seems funny to be reflecting back on this season now, but as my profession is inexorably linked to a scholastic calendar, it is accurate. Schools all over the valley are starting up, teachers are prepping their classrooms if they haven’t already begun classes, and my colleagues at AIMS and FPU are filtering back into… Continue Reading

What Part Does Technology Have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part III)

This blog post is the third in a series concerning technology in education stemming from the Jean Piaget Society Conference I attended in June. The theme of this year’s conference was “Technology and Human Development.” It provided a venue to discuss technology through a variety of different academic disciplines and research frames of reference all… Continue Reading

What Part Does Technology Have to Play in the Future of Education? (Part II)

I have been exploring the idea of technology in education since attending the Jean Piaget Society (JPS) Conference in San Francisco in early June. The theme for the 2017 conference was Technology and Human Development. In my last blog post, I reflected on the increasing rate of change in technology and how that exponential change… Continue Reading