5. Learning Math as an Experimental Science

Because of computers, we see more than ever before that mathematical discovery is like scientific discovery. It begins with the search for pattern in data-perhaps in numbers, but often in geometric or algebraic structures. Generalization leads to abstraction, to patterns in the mind. Theories emerge as patterns of patterns, and significance is measured by the degree to which patterns in one area link to patterns in other areas. Subtle patterns with the greatest explanatory power become the deepest results, forming the foundation for entire subdisciplines. Lynn Steen 1988


Chapter 5. Explorations

My Favorite Teacher

Walt Hunter was a quiet man, slight and balding with a Great Plains accent. You might mark him as a teacher, but likely not the… Read more

Math is Hard

In a magazine published for college trustees, a recent short article captured the latest statistics from the ACT and SAT tests. The downward trend was… Read more

A Very Good Year

I feel most fortunate when I have a year I get to work on a new great idea in it. This past year has thus… Read more

Opportunity for Creativity

I just looked at a wonderful short video by Sir Ken Robinson on creativity at https://youtu.be/63NTB7oObtw in which he describes creativity as a process that… Read more

Another Sunday Ritual Soon Gone

When I was a kid, Sundays in the summer were car washing days. The stores were closed. The roads were generally quiet. And we took… Read more

Tradition, Tradition

As part of the process of designing and developing new Labs, I visit math content sites all the time to help me think about the… Read more

“Just try it on!”

Spanglish is one of those movies that grows on you. A coming to America story filled with themes that move us: a dedicated and resourceful… Read more

The Bit

The key to the digital age is also the key to learning algebra. Despite what many of us may believe, our digital age did not… Read more

The Future of Math Education

Change in the practice of mathematics forces re-examination of mathematics education. Not just computers, but also new applications and new theories have significantly expanded the… Read more