Talking About Maths with Jamila Bey

Last month, I did an interview with Jamila Bey for The Voice of Russia radio in which we talked about how to get math students to think more critically and creatively in American public schools. (In other words, this has nothing to do with atheism.)

If you’re interested, you can listen to the interview here. Good luck getting over your discomfort with the word “Maths” :)

I gave a similar talk at the 2011 Secular Student Alliance Conference last month (and I’ll be doing a longer, modified version of it at Skepticon IV in November) — video’s not available yet, but I’ll post it when it is.

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  • Paul Rinzler

    I’m not uncomfortable, but I wonder, what does the word “maths” mean?

  • Laura Dupont

    Maths is short for mathematics.   Most other English speaking countries use this shorthand, math is unique to the U.S.  If you listen to/watch scientists from Britain, as I do, you hear it a lot.

  • Paul Rinzler

    Still divided by a common language, aren’t we? ; )

  • Bob Becker

    You mentioned in your interview a mathblogger you thought very highly of.  Can you post the address of his blog here?  Might be interesting to look around there.

  • Hemant Mehta

    Bob — Here’s the site!

  • Jamie Avera

    It means “math.”

  • Ewan

    I’m a little curious about this – if you want to use the long form is it ‘mathematics’ or ‘mathematic’ in American?

  • Anna


  • Paul Rinzler

    OK, sorry to go all insignificant on you, but if you can say “math,” and “mathematics” but not “mathematic,” then you can’t say “maths.”

    I feel better now.

  • Guest

    As an electrical engineer, I take offence when you say we don’t really use imaginary numbers in real life :P. My two words for you – Fourier Transforms.

    IMHO, imaginary numbers (just like real numbers) are only an abstract tool created by the human mind to solve problems. The only difference between imaginary numbers and real numbers in “real life” is that we are so familiar with real numbers that they seem “natural” to us.