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Finding the beauty in math

Math has a bad rap, writes math professor Manil Suri in a recent New York Times op-ed, and would be better geared to students as a playful and stimulating subject of ideas, Mind/Shift reports. Unfortunately, that’s not at all what our culture currently embraces. “Sadly, few avenues exist in our society to expose us to mathematical beauty,” Suri writes. “In schools, as I’ve heard several teachers lament, the opportunity to immerse students in interesting mathematical ideas is usually jettisoned to make more time for testing and arithmetic drills. The subject rarely appears in the news media or the cultural arena.” While research suggests that improving self-efficacy and providing math-positive role models can help spark interest and stave off math anxiety, what some mathematicians and teachers are looking for reaches beyond surviving or tolerating math class, but helping connect students to mathematics beauty…

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