Mon 27 Mar 2006

Brent Yorgey ’04 has a beautifully formatted blog “dedicated to exploring beautiful mathematics.” Brent notes that:

There is tons of beautiful mathematics out there which is accessible without an advanced degree in mathematics — but not much of it is taught in high school, either because teachers do not have a good grasp of the mathematics outside their set curriculum, or because it is deemed “irrelevant” or “not useful”. While I agree that one goal of education is to make sure students acquire useful skills, certainly another goal is to arouse students’ wonder and curiosity — and this is where current mathematical education (at least in the U.S.) seems to fail so miserably. I doubt this little blog can ever really make up for such a big hole in modern math curricula, but at least I hope that a few students might read it and be inspired to consider that maybe — just maybe — math isn’t quite so boring as they thought…

Great stuff. I hope to convince Brent to do some guest posting at EphBlog as well, both with math items and with thoughts on being a math teacher. There are scores of students at Williams right now considering teaching, either as a career or as a first job after college. Many would be eager to read about Brent’s experiences.

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## 2 Responses to “Math Less Travelled”

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Eiserlman says:

Just for the record, Brent Yorgey may be the finest individual in my peer group I’ve ever encountered, and his presence in any group- let alone Ephblog- (would )boost(s) the quality immensely.

March 27th, 2006 at 6:37 pmChris Jones says:

Hi Brent (and David — hi roomie!),

Just wanted to chime in that I believe it is almost always a good idea to spend substantial time going “offroad” while teaching high school mathematics. I am in my 17th year of teaching high school, and I must say that one of the things that keeps me fired up is the wealth of untapped beautiful math (accessible to high schooler) that I can explore each year. I do have the luxury of being the head of my dept; so I have pushed to build more”free time” into our courses, thereby allowing for more exploration. Here at the Horace Mann School in NYC, in my dept, we have three Ephs (Myself ’88, Charle Worrall ’94, and your classmate Nick Perry ’04). What a coincidence, eh!

In any event, I applaud what you are doing. Keep it up.

Cheers.

March 27th, 2006 at 6:41 pm