Summer Math Reading

Here are a few recently published, non-traditional books on math. Happy reading!

  • “The Mathematics of Life”: Ian Stewart explains how mathematicians and biologists are working together on some of the most difficult problems the human race has ever tackled — including the unraveling of the genome, the structure of viruses, the spread of disease, the interaction of environmental factors and the origin of life itself.
  • “One, Two, Three: Absolutely Elementary Mathematics”: David Berlinski goes back to basics and explains the foundation of arithmetic, right down to the origins of the plus and minus signs. But don’t get the idea that Berlinski is dumbing down the subject: This book touches upon the contributions by David Hilbert, Giuseppe Peano, Bertrand Russell and other brainy people through the ages.
  • “Loving + Hating Mathematics: Challenging the Myths of Mathematical Life”: Reuben Hersh and Vera John-Steiner delve into the lifestyles of the not-necessarily-rich but famous mathematicians, in an effort to explain “why the most rational of human endeavors is at the same time one of the most emotional.”

Synposes via



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The Twitter “Print Effect”

Have you ever wondered how long it would take for you to print out your entire Twitter timeline? I Tweet as @pgraiser and here is an infographic of my Twitter data:

Created by Cartridge Save, providers of laser toner cartridges

You can create your own Twitter Print Effect infographic by clicking here.

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A Statistics Poem


A Contribution to Statistics

Out of a hundred people

those who always know better
— fifty-two

doubting every step
— nearly all the rest,
glad to lend a hand
if it doesn’t take too long
— as high as forty-nine,
always good
because they can’t be otherwise
— four, well maybe five,
able to admire without envy
— eighteen,
suffering illusions
induced by fleeting youth
— sixty, give or take a few,
not to be taken lightly
— forty and four,
living in constant fear
of someone or something
— seventy-seven,
capable of happiness
— twenty-something tops,
harmless singly, savage in crowds
— half at least,
when forced by circumstances
— better not to know
even ballpark figures,
wise after the fact
— just a couple more
than wise before it,
taking only things from life
— thirty
(I wish I were wrong),
hunched in pain,
no flashlight in the dark
— eighty-three
sooner or later,
— thirty-five, which is a lot,
and understanding
— three,
worthy of compassion
— ninety-nine,
— a hundred out of a hundred.
Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.
by Wislawa Szymborska
from Poems: New and Selected,
trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh
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Infographics: Magic Beans & The Fries that Bind Us

We all know that McDonald’s and Starbucks can be found everywhere–but just how far is their global reach?

Click here to view two great infographics with much math teaching potential and a great deal of student engagement.

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Hidden Harmonies: The Life and Times of the Pythagorean Theorem

Hidden Harmonies

I was just reading an article at (yes, I am probably the only person who “reads” articles from National Public Radio) about a husband and wife team of mathematicians who have written a new book on the Pythagorean Theorem. It looks very appropriate for middle school and high school math classes. Now I am off to to order!

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See You in Nashville at the HSTW Conference!

It is time to register for the  High Schools That Work Summer Staff Development Conference and the on-line registration system is now open.

SREB’s annual High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference supplies state, district school and teacher leaders with new strategies for designing schools that provide more students with relevant, meaningful educational experiences, so more students graduate and they graduate prepared for college and careers in the 21st-century economy.

The conference will take place from July 20-23, 2011 at the newly remodeled Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Conference Center in Nashville, TN. Click here to register.

For additional information, click here.

For up-to-the-minute conference updates, sign up on SREB’s Facebook group.

I am making several presentations at the conference so look me up. I hope to see you there!

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The Math of Tsunamis

While watching the news coverage of the terrible earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that followed, I was awed by the math possibilities. After a little research I found a few math resources for this “teachable moment”:

-A new math formula might predict tsunamis

-A Tweet from a 2010 Tsunami: How fast is it traveling?

-A Wolfram demonstration of the math of tsunamis

-From the NYT: 20 Ways to teach about the disaster in Japan across the curriculum

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