Current Events in Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of numbers and their practicality in solving mysteries of the world. Current events in this subject help to uncover the true meaning of the discipline. Many who dislike math don’t truly understand what it accomplishes or aims to discover. By focusing on current events, students and professionals alike show why math is such a force in society.

Current events in mathematics contribute to a growing field with a diverse range of utilities and practices. The history of mathematics is an exciting dive into the past, present, and future. It’s long been one of the most studied disciplines. It’s older than most other fields of study in general. It does date back to the B.C. era. If you dreaded math in school, then you’re not alone.

Mathematics is the system of utilizing numbers to measure quantity and formulas. Math is one of the longest-running traditions of academia with roots dating back centuries ago. The role of mathematics in current events evolves several industries and disciplines. The findings that establish every mathematician’s arsenal of knowledge progress each year. Technology also helps to enhance the experience of mathematics research.

For years, students have feared math in school. Now, many are finding various ways to enjoy the practice. In college, math students increase yearly as more and more look to enjoy a wide variety of job opportunities. It’s one of the fastest-growing majors. Because of its importance, current events in mathematics do a great job of letting people know how the study is changing. Here are five great examples of where the field is heading.

Entrance sign and foliage background to the campus of the University of Kentucky

Kentucky Honors Students who Mix Math and Culture to Provide Crucial Solutions

In college, you probably took at least one math class. If you didn’t go to college but attended high school, you certainly took math courses. Math is a cornerstone of American education and most programs across the world. It’s an essential part of learning civic duty as well as life skills. If you’re not great at math, you probably look at people who do it professionally and think they’re crazy. Well, in a lot of ways, math takes a different kind of thinking. Formulas and proofs need to be your bread and butter. Kentucky has a math program that’s one of the top schools in the world. A lot of international students head to the University of Kentucky for a variety of applications. Like other American universities, travel is intimidating but worth it. American universities yield fantastic job prospects and future open doors.

Recently, a few Kentucky honors students made headlines and dominated current events in mathematics and higher education. Two significant awards go to the University of Kentucky students graduating at the end of the year, and both came from STEM backgrounds. One in particular, who studied math during her time in the U.K., stayed busy in her four years of college. On top of tutoring in the math lab, she worked as an ambassador for the school and won a 2016 award for a human to human interaction in higher education. Any stereotype of math students being antisocial doesn’t apply to 2020 graduate Rachel Lietzow.

Making Numbers Fun and Social

Something Lietzow earned her nomination for, among other highlights in her academic career, was her tutoring work with international students. Math, unlike a language or social concept, is universal for many. The critical thing to remember about American colleges is that international students come here to school quite often. They’re regularly hitting the ground in the U.S. for the first time as well. This impact is overwhelming for just about anyone, as you can imagine. If it seems daunting to go to a party alone, imagine going to a country apart for four years. It’s a daunting experience for many.

Lietzow used math during her time in college to communicate with others. Maybe some international students weren’t great with math, but at least they could communicate through the numbers. On top of a fantastic grade point average and involvement in school activities, Lietzow won many scholarships and awards during her time at K.U.

Bronx Success Academy Aces Math Exams Despite Being Poorest Area in America

Bronx Success Academy Aces Math Exams, Despite Being Poorest Area in America

A big intersection between education and success is an opportunity. For many, opportunity means a lot of different things. International students come to the United States for the chance. People move across the country for opportunities. In our communities, however, opportunity varies. For example, you might have more money than your neighbors. At the same time, the neighbor two doors down have more money than you both. Maybe, enough to send their kids to a private school. Well, the Bronx in New York doesn’t necessarily have too much variety in opportunity from door to door. The area is among the most deprived areas of the United States. Mirrored in that statistic is the low high school graduation rate for Bronx kids and students.

Inside a portion of the Bronx is the poorest congressional district in the United States. It’s there that the Success Academy opened, to ideally help students get a better chance at escaping poverty and failed high school aspirations. So far, it’s working great, and making many headlines in current events in mathematics thanks to some recent test scores. Put all of this together about opportunity and money, and it’s easy to understand that weak areas yield low test scores. Less qualified teachers often find jobs more quickly in the more impoverished areas, and students often have miserable home lives to look forward to after school. Well, the Success Academy did its job for a group of 8th graders.

A New Sense of Pride

Ninety percent of the students at the Success Academy qualify for free lunch. The program gives food to kids who can’t necessarily get regular meals at home. This fact means, on average, these students are going to score lower on math exams. After taking the Algebra I Regency exams, a course designed for high school, the entire 53 student class passed the exam. The highest available score to standardized tests of this sort was not only passed but scored a 5 out of 5. If that’s not impressive enough, 99% of Academy students passed state-administered exams.

The difference between some schools in weak areas of America and the Bronx based Success Academy is pure: opportunity. These students get resources other low-income students do not. Now, the task comes down to translating this opportunity everywhere. That means more money to poorer districts, not the process laid out by No Child Left Behind. If we want positive results, then we have to make positive strides for kids who lack opportunity.

US Place First at 60th International Mathematical Olympiad

U.S. Place First at 60th International Mathematical Olympiad

The International Mathematical Olympiad takes place every year. At this event, 80 students come to participate in competitions; all centered around math. These students, who have excelled in their national Math Olympiad events, are usually the top two students from the world’s best countries. The game funded by a ton of different departments and organizations around the world. In short, the United States is on a bit of a burner at these international events. Professor Po-Shen Loh is a leading scholar in the math world and coaches the United States team. Professor Loh teaches at Carnegie Mellon, who is known for churning out fantastic math students.

These competitions yield some great results for everyone involved. For one, students who win these top awards get courted for Ph. D programs all over the world. One U.S. winner, for example, is heading to the University of Illinois after a performance in the past years. It’s also great for schools. Students at different programs, like Carnegie Mellon, for example, excel, then incoming college students will likely want to head to those programs. It’s like recruiting at a whole other level. Now, it’s worth noting that these programs do much more recruiting than just these events. Math students know the excellent plans by the time they start applying. Nevertheless, it’s lovely getting to show off what an education from your program can do.

U.S. Math Team versus Math Scores Overall

The vital factor to keep in mind is the country’s overall math scores. All academic ratings, across levels, are lacking in the United States when compared to other countries. Countries with GDP data at a fraction of the United States score higher in nearly every academic category. To combat this, schools are trying just about everything. So, how is it that the United States math team can do so well in a country that fails so many others. The biggest issue right now is bridging the gap as more and more students seem to fail at math and science. There are many ways to combat low test scores, but it’s hard to understand the best methods when no money or effort gets put back into education.

Nevertheless, the United States math team is thriving. That’s a good thing and hopefully inspires other students to work hard at the subjects that might be a bit more difficult. Mark it as another win for U.S. math! Always lovely to see some good news for current events in mathematics.

Violin classic musical instrument Classical player hands Details of violin

Music Participation Heightens Math Scores in Students

Across the country and world, students struggle with math. It’s hard to get kids who struggle with math to enjoy the subject. Current events in mathematics point to, among other things, a slacking national education system. So, what can we do to help revitalize the slouching academic outlook? As it turns out, everyone seems to have an idea. Many suggest the move to charter schools, like the one in the Bronx mentioned above. The issue with this is that money buys opportunity, and while it’s lovely to get cash to underprivileged areas, it can’t sustain itself for a national education system. Others say we don’t need a national education system, but that brings its issues as well.

Another approach is to look at the way that students learn best. A lot of teaching and learning centers research this topic year-round. The goal is always, as it often is in education, to find out how to improve everyone’s experience. The tricky thing, as mentioned throughout these current events in mathematics, is money. So, what non-financial factors help students learn math more adequately. A recent study seems to point to extracurricular activities being a massive part of rising test scores, including math and science. Music, in particular, appears to be a considerable influence.

Perfect Harmony with Music and Math

The study brings to light an exciting intersection between harder subjects like math, science, and the liberal arts. At the collegiate level, these usually do not mix. In high school, however, the study shows that music participation helps keep students upon their grades and homework. Why is this? We know the cognitive process and learning experience of music and math are quite different, so what’s happening here. It turns out that music is just one of the more rigorous extracurricular disciplines, and keeps students on their toes.

The process of learning, practicing, and performing an instrument keeps students engaged. Focus is everything for a high school student. The other thing to note about the study is the type of students who actively look forward to learning an instrument. Many come from backgrounds or homes that encourage participation in things like this, including academic excellence.

So, what happens when a student is not encouraged at home? Well, the most natural solution is to help them at school. Many music programs are becoming free to participate in schools struggling in basic subjects.

Famous Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville Tennessee

New Dean of Vanderbilt Math College Looks to Reinvent the Way Students Learn the Subject

A lot of this discussion on current events in mathematics has consisted of tradition. The tradition of learning math and teaching it to kids as young as 3 or 4 in educational environments is not new. This role is a process that has been developed for a long time now. Well, what happens when some of the traditions are not working well anymore? For example, there’s an odd emphasis on math being rigorous at the college level. Sure, you still have friendly professors and eager students, but what about students who don’t find their love for math until college? Are they doomed to forever hate the field?

Well, one dean at Vanderbilt University is looking into this. The phrase, “I’m not good at math” is the key to her insights on new ways to instruct mathematics in the college classroom. Current events in mathematics always point to people succeeding in math who love math. But, for many college students studying math, they’ve always been good at it. What about the students who seem to struggle at math, and have done so for decades? Are they to be left in the dust? Melissa Gresalfi says no. Her entire career based on the rejection of that premise.

Making the Most out of Math

Math is not some dry, boring subject, as many often believe. A lot of the hate or dissatisfaction with math comes from what Gresalfi calls mathematical anxiety. The idea of a word like calculus or trigonometry is enough to make some students immediately feel tense and tired. The concept of math, in this sense, is what people hate about math. The way it appears in K-12 programs is, as the federal and many state governments believe, the best way to go about teaching math. But, then, why do so many seem to feel anxious about it? Not just anxious in some cases, but annoyed, frustrated, or angered by its very existence. That does not facilitate good students, let alone good math scores.

The key to Gresalfi’s approach is the way math gets taught. For many students, the idea of traditional instruction and lecture-style math seems so frustrating and illogical. Lecturing, in general, is rejected by many students across subjects. The key then is to find a way to make math enjoyable. That can mean several things depending on a student’s interests, and colleges need to be okay with getting creative. That means professors, too.

Conclusion

Mathematics is not an evil practice, although, for many, it seems to be. For long life strugglers at math, the subject is a signifier for a headache. Still, with these current events in mathematics pointing to new and innovative trends in the field, hopefully, more students come to love numbers. The future is going to need mathematicians just as much as mathematicians need interested students. Probably the two continue to grow for the sake of all higher education.

How does math in real life differ from school classes?

Why is mathematics so misunderstood as a means to solve equations in various industries?

Where do current events in mathematics show up most in the news?

About David A. Smith aka Dave
About Dave

David Smith (Dave) has a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics and has enjoyed teaching precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, and number theory at both the junior college and university levels for over 20 years. David is the founder and CEO of Dave4Math.

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