Tuesday, December 14, 2010

how do we fix math education?

computerbasedmath | Whether it's bored students, dissatisfied employers, bewildered governments, or frustrated teachers, almost everyone thinks there's a problem with math (and STEM) education today.

There is a solution, but it needs a fundamental change to the school subject we call math. It needs to be clearly articulated and decisively acted upon. That's why Conrad Wolfram has founded computerbasedmath.org. He and many others see a growing chasm between math in education and math outside, between the increasingly irrelevant school math curriculum that contrasts with the critical and growing importance of math and its uses in the real world. They've observed how many of those involved in school math fail to appreciate the total transformation and fundamental change that computers have brought to this ancient subject in recent decades.

computerbasedmath.org is initially supported by Wolfram Research. For over 20 years Wolfram Research has had a unique position at the epicenter of math and its uses: using high-powered math to develop the latest algorithms for Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha software, mathematicians, and other STEM specialists, supplying technology to the world's community of math users, and interacting with leading experts from all technical fields. That's not to mention its involvement with thousands of universities, schools, and courses worldwide. Wolfram Research really is the "Math Company".

Key ideas behind this computer-based math approach have been forming for more than a decade, but computerbasedmath.org is only just starting. Over the coming months, we will be looking for think-tank members from among the many enthusiastic, leading supporters who have voiced interest in the project.

If you see the great opportunity and empowerment for the future of computer-based math and are interested in joining computerbasedmath.org in any capacity—from sponsoring organization to board member—please contact us.