Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Author Argues that Everyone is Born with a Head for Numbers": Review ofWhat Counts: How Every Brain is Hardwired for Math, by BrianButterworth. Reviewed by Malcolm J. Sherman. American Scientist,September/October 1999, pages 458-461.

This book review contrasts the perspective of Piaget, who argued that humanshave no innate understanding of mathematics, with the perspective of BrianButterworth, who argues in his book for the existence of a "math module" in thebrain. The reviewer disagrees with Butterworth's advocacy of the "discoverylearning" approach to mathematics education.

--- Allyn Jackson

American Mathematical Society