Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Erasing the divide that keeps many from grasping numbers," by Laura Pappano.Boston Globe, 8 December 2002.

Many do not question "the common wisdom in the United States that mathematicalability is somehow innate, and there are people who, no matter how hard theytry, will not be able to achieve in mathematics" and that "struggling in mathis socially acceptable, while having trouble reading is reason for worry." Inaddition, many make assumptions based on gender---that boys are better at math.Among those quoted regarding their thoughts on the matter are some teachers,Johnny Lott (president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), andKeith Devlin (author of The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved AndWhy Numbers Are Like Gossip). This was one of several articles onmathematics published in the newspaper's section that focused mainly on highschool math education (in which some teachers have experimented with Japaneseand Russian methods).

--- Annette Emerson