To Keep Students in STEM fields, Let’s Weed Out the Weed-out Math Classes

All routes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees run through calculus classes. Each year, hundreds of thousands of college students take introductory calculus. But only a fraction ultimately complete a STEM degree, and research about why students abandon such degrees suggests that traditional calculus courses are one of the reasons. With scientific understanding and innovation … Read more

Celebrate Pi Day 2022 with these epic NASA math challenges for March 14

If you ever feel like you’re spinning in circles, the annual pi day is a great moment to remind yourself of the power of such thinking. NASA celebrates the famous mathematical ratio each year on March 14 (3/14), which is meant to represent the 3.14 constant that results when you divide a circle’s circumference by … Read more

New Math Research Group Reflects a Schism in the Field

A new organization called the Association for Mathematical Research (AMR) has ignited fierce debates in the math research and education communities since it was launched last October. Its stated mission is “to support mathematical research and scholarship”—a goal similar to that proclaimed by two long-standing groups: the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association … Read more

What if Math Is a Fundamental Part of Nature, Not Something Humans Came Up With?

Nature is an unstoppable force, and a beautiful one at that. Everywhere you look, the natural world is laced with stunning patterns that can be described with mathematics. From bees to blood vessels, ferns to fangs, math can explain how such beauty emerges.   Math is often described this way, as a language or a … Read more

Fish: Archerfish prove they can count by spitting at computer screens

Previous research has suggested that fish have an innate sense of numbers, but critics say these experiments aren’t the final word. Now, a new study has shown that archerfish really can count Life 24 December 2021 By Michael Le Page Archerfish spit water at their prey Shutterstock / Roberto Dani Can fish count? An experiment involving … Read more

‘Twilight Zone’ Sleep Hack Really Can Spark Creative Thinking, Scientists Say

A sleep technique described by surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and famous inventor Thomas Edison might actually work to inspire creativity, researchers have found. To get the creativity boost, you essentially need to wake up just as a certain sleep stage sets in, where reality seems to blend into fantasy.   To use the technique, visionaries … Read more