Writings and observations

What kind of math

Nobody writes fundraising email like Steve Novick, who’s running for Portland city council. They tend to be good reading (on top of persuasive). At the end of his latest, out today, he included a quote from an August 24 New York Times op-ed.

It matches up so neatly with one of our long-held thoughts about public education, that repetition here was irresistible:

“For instance, how often do most adults encounter a situation in which they need to solve a quadratic equation? Do they need to know what constitutes a “group of transformations” or a “complex number”? Of course professional mathematicians, physicists and engineers need to know all this, but most citizens would be better served by studying how mortgages are priced, how computers are programmed and how the statistical results of a medical trial are to be understood.”

The whole op-ed is well worth the read.

Share on Facebook