In the past week, readers of this site have really come through for Pastor Norman Hayes after he was beaten up by a “Militant Atheist” (who would arguably be better described as a thug with a criminal past).
This story is tough to verify, but it wouldn’t be very surprising if it were true.
According to the English version of the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram, a 20-year-old (unnamed) student at Suez Canal University was arrested for committing an awful crime against religion:
Simon Singh is the author of the *incredible* books Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe and Fermat’s Enigma. His remarkable talent is taking complicated math and science topics and making them accessible to everybody.
His latest work combines two worlds that have a much closer relationship than you ever knew: It’s called The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets:
In the excerpt below, republished with permission from Dr. Singh, we learn how a nugget of dialogue from the show can open the door to a greater understanding of infinity:
An article at The Atlantic by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith argues against the notion that some people are just not “math people” and I couldn’t agree more:
… we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children — the myth of inborn genetic math ability.
So why do we focus on math? For one thing, math skills are increasingly important for getting good jobs these days — so believing you can’t learn math is especially self-destructive. But we also believe that math is the area where America’s “fallacy of inborn ability” is the most entrenched. Math is the great mental bogeyman of an unconfident America. If we can convince you that anyone can learn math, it should be a short step to convincing you that you can learn just about anything, if you work hard enough.
This is precisely what I’ve noticed in nearly a decade of teaching math at the high-school level: The students who say they’re “bad at math” tend to do just fine when they’re given good instruction and practice properly. The students who don’t do well are usually the ones who aren’t trying very hard in the first place.