Remembering an Inspirational Teacher

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As most people in the quantitative job field would agree, math education in the United States has been mediocre at best over the last few years. Earlier this month, John Holdren, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) reiterated the steps that the Obama administration is taking to improve… Read more »

American Math Education: Worse Than We Think?

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  As a recruiter of quantitative talent I’m always interested to hear how math education in the United States compares to other countries. As a mother of three high school kids, I’m personally invested in the state of public school education and how our children can compete internationally. This is why I found Arthur Levine’s… Read more »

The Case for Saving Algebra

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In his op-ed piece “Is Algebra Necessary?” Andrew Hacker struggles to justify the teaching of traditional advanced mathematics in our public schools. I’ll admit that the statistics he provides are jarring: community colleges across the country report that fewer than 25% of new students passed their required algebra classes; at The City University of New… Read more »

Big Data Hits the Big Time, but at What Price?

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  “What Are The Odds That Stats Would Be This Popular?” That was the question Quentin Hardy asked in his NY Times piece last Friday (01/26/12). If you’ve been paying attention to this blog, you’d know that the odds have been good and are getting better. The real issue isn’t in the headline, but comes a couple of paragraphs down: “What… Read more »

How to Fix Our Math Education

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Sol Garfunkel and David Mumford think they know How to Fix Our Math Education (NYT, 8/24 Op Ed): “The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact.” I think they miss half the point. Here’s the other half: jobs. Even with… Read more »

Math Education + Quantitative Job = Career Satisfaction

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  Few individuals in this world aspire to earn the title “geek”, but that may soon change given the Wall Street Journal’s listings of Best Jobs of 2011. As it turns out, analytically-minded individuals are thriving in their positions as Actuaries, Accountants, Statisticians, and Mathematicians. In fact, they very well may be the most satisfied working professionals out there…. Read more »

Family Dinner Conversation

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Just a few nights ago, during our family dinner, the topic of the eighth-grade social order arose. It seems my 13-year-old twins, Jay and Becky, have a pretty clear understanding of where they (and all of their classmates) stand in the pecking order. Becky said she resides somewhere in the middle —abercrombie jeans and Ugg… Read more »

Declining Math Skills in the US

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Last week, I was disappointed as I read in the New York Times that the number of children in the United States who are excelling in mathematics is in decline. It seems that American culture does not highly value talent in math and as a result, many students, and especially girls, are not motivated to… Read more »