Are You Smarter Than a 15-Year Old? Depends What Country the 15-Year Old Is From

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD ) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines what 15-year old students know in reading, mathematics, and science, and what they can do with what they know. It provides the most comprehensive and rigorous international assessment of student learning outcomes to date. Results from PISA indicate the … Continue reading Are You Smarter Than a 15-Year Old? Depends What Country the 15-Year Old Is From

Brain Teaser Tuesday: Where Is the Missing Dollar?

This is another brain teaser problem I came across when I was probably around 12 years old. I'll admit it stumped me back then, even after I knew the answer, and it still does so today. Here's the riddle: Three guests check into a hotel room. The manager says the bill is $30, so each … Continue reading Brain Teaser Tuesday: Where Is the Missing Dollar?

Nice Try, but You Can’t Blame the Calculator

A few days ago, an Oklahoma judge acknowledged that he was three decimal places off when he originally calculated the amount Johnson & Johnson should pay for its role in the state’s opioids crisis. The mistake came when he was assessing various costs to the state to deal with addiction and prevention issues stemming from … Continue reading Nice Try, but You Can’t Blame the Calculator

Math for Social Justice

I wish the Wall Street Journal had turned on comments for this article. In today's paper, the Journal had a brief description of a textbook titled "Mathematics for Social Justice: Resources for the College Classroom". The description was copied nearly verbatim from the online bookstore of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Here is the full … Continue reading Math for Social Justice

When the Teacher Becomes the Student

Don't worry, this isn't any sort of New Age, zen-like post about teaching. It's literally about when a teacher (me) becomes a student (me, again). This semester I am teaching four sections of Introductory Financial Accounting, the bane of many students' existence. I tell them that the course is challenging; for many of them it may … Continue reading When the Teacher Becomes the Student

Fun Christmas Math

Did you ever wonder how many total gifts someone receives as a result of the song the 12 Days of Christmas? Or what individual gift was the most popular? What about Santa Claus and his delivery schedule? How many houses does he visit? How fast does he have to be traveling? How heavy is his … Continue reading Fun Christmas Math

I’m Just Glad My Teacher Didn’t Burst Out Laughing

In a previous post I wrote about how I've gotten a little braver about answering questions in class, even when I'm not quite sure of the answer. Well now I might have to go back to my old ways of being a "bump on  log". The other day the teacher asked a question, and I … Continue reading I’m Just Glad My Teacher Didn’t Burst Out Laughing

Why I Love DonorsChoose.org

Imagine making a donation to a cause that you really believe in, one that you believe will make a difference. Then imagine getting personalized hand-drawn thank you notes like the one above, telling you how awesome you are. Well that pretty much describes how the online charity DonorsChoose.org works. Its mission is  to "engage  the public in public … Continue reading Why I Love DonorsChoose.org