Monday, January 20, 2014

Why Do People Hate Math?

A new video from Numberphile, "Why Do People Hate Mathematics?"


  1. I think that lots of people dislike math because math teachers tend to impose math on their students instead of drawing them into math.

    For example, consider how the x axis serving double duty might intrigue students and help them see the value of adding a y axis:

    For an exponential function b^x, e.g., 2^x, mark off the value 2 two units from zero, mark off the value 4 four units from zero, etc. And then do the same for base 3. And then base 1.9 -- and then base 1. And notice that while the closer the base is to 1, the denser the markings, at base = 1 there is a discontinuity! No.longer are the markings spread further out along x. Might that get young minds intrigued about the implicit glory of math and the GAOTU?

    Hopefully the above the beginning of at least a brief correspondence.

    1. Fantastic point. Teachers of math should always be striving to draw people in like you describe. I know I could certainly do better myself.

      Do you teach math somewhere?