McCarthy installed as new Spencer T. Olin professor

Mathematician John E. McCarthy, PhD, was installed March 2 as the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts & Sciences in a ceremony in Holmes Lounge.  Following the formal installation and the presentation of the professorship medallion, McCarthy spoke on “Why Pure Mathematics Matters.”

Consider supplemental math programs as holiday gift

David Kilper/WUSTL PhotoA math problem review session at the Kumon-Ladue math program on Clayton Road in Ladue.Parents of school-aged children might want to think of giving their children an enduring holiday gift this year: enrollment in a supplemental mathematics program. While it can cost anywhere from $80 to $110 a month, the results of practicing mathematics nearly daily is rewarding to both students and parents. In fact, parents might be even bigger recipients of this gift than their children. While their children gain self-esteem and confidence, the parents very likely will feel a sense of relief and pride in their children’s accomplishment.

The Poincare Conjecture: Proved or Not?

A Missouri mathematician believes that the state’s moniker has great bearing on the status of modern mathematical proofs: Show Me. Steven Krantz, Ph.D., professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, said that it is becoming more difficult to verify proofs today and that the concept of the proof has undergone serious change over the course of his 30-plus years career,

Staying on the same page

Photo by David KilperSt. Louis teachers gather at WUSTL to compare notes.At Washington University in St. Louis, teachers from five school districts are working with science and math education faculty in an effort designed to align curriculum to the NCLB standards and to improve instruction. Their work is supported by $6.5 million from the National Science Foundation, through funding from NCLB.

Curricula that engages students is key to solving nation’s math education problem

Courtesy NASA/JPL-CaltechEngaging students in the power of mathematics is key to a strong curriculum.As parents are taking advantage of back-to-school sales and stocking up on supplies like calculators, pens and pencils, a math education expert at Washington University in St. Louis suggests they also may want to check out the quality of their children’s math education. According to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, the United States continues to lag further behind other developed nations in mathematics education. A critical part of the solution, says Jere Confrey, Ph.D., professor of education in Arts & Sciences, is for school districts to select and implement a solid curriculum with interesting, compelling and rigorous mathematics and then to carefully monitor and evaluate students’ progress while using that curriculum.