Math and the Drug War

The drug war is one issue that tends to be too hot for presidential politics. You won’t hear any questions at the debates about it, and you can be sure the candidates won’t be talking about it. But there’s a proposal in front of voters here in Washington State this November that has some pretty big implications for the drug …

Math Salons scheduled, plus a great new look at vast amounts of dollars

Happy post-Thanksgiving! To all Seattlites looking for a math-rich event for kids, we’ve finally got some Math Salons on the calendar, starting in January. Interested in joining us? Just rsvp, and we’ll see you there. In other news, Randall Munroe recently created this incredibly dense poster of information, tracking money, how much of it there is, and what it gets …

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Sensationalism

Katherine and I recently got into a big discussion with our friend Peter, who makes low cost, super-efficient wood stoves for use in the developing world (check out Burn Labs for more). We were trying to convince him that our long term goal of creating a world where mathematical literacy and critical thinking were the norm both in and out …

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Mathematical Storytellers

Speaking of great displays of data, check this out: the last 200 years of history of the wealth and health of the 200 countries of the world When it comes to figuring out how the world works, statistics is where it’s at, these days, no question. And part of the reason is because it’s pretty much the only field equipped …

Confessions of a Converted Lecturer

Link: Confessions of a Converted Lecturer This is an absolutely excellent talk, which I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s not just that he talks about the problems with lecturing and the benefits of using other methods. What’s phenomenal about this is that he actually collects solid data, and scientifically argues his point. Anyone who’s interested in teaching, and especially those …

data tells stories if you present it right

Link: data tells stories if you present it right For those who doubt the power of graphs to tell a story, I just received this graph from Obama’s group, Organizing for America. This is a very nice example of how to highlight the information that you find important, and use data to back up a version of events. I’d be …