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Math Phobias

When I was in my early twenties, I spent a summer at a monastery with some remarkable nuns. The beekeeper had been on Wall Street, the woman in charge of milk, butter, and cheese had been a lawyer. I was wildly impressed at the wide range of accomplishments this cheese expert laid in front of me (don’t forget prayers in Gregorian chant seven times a day). And yet, despite all her life experience, she confessed a complete and total paralysis when faced with math.

Pi for Everyone!

Happy π Day!  If you are a numbers geek, you might already know when this day is celebrated. If you don’t, it’s on March 14, which has been designated as National Pi Day (made official by Congress on March 12, 2009).  Pi Day is celebrated all around the world and has a special place at The Beekman School, as well.  I started celebrating it a few years ago, as it was the perfect opportunity to share my love of math, pi, and pie with the students at Beekman.  

A Fixed Point

Science is elegant.  Mathematics is beautiful.

That was the insight that came to me as I unexpectedly found myself leafing through a whole slew of Scientific American magazines from years gone by.  And with that insight came a whole new appreciation of the subject of mathematics that I had devoted my life to teaching. I was struck by how quickly some of the science articles had become outdated, while the math articles retained a timelessness that reflected the one-pointedness of mathematics itself--the fact that the truths of mathematics belong to eternity.

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