Mathematics for Human Flourishing

Resources & REadings

While my book was written for a wide audience of non-specialists, these resources may be of interest if you want to dig further, or if you are doing a book discussion group, or if you are a teacher. If you have resources you'd like me to consider for this page that could be useful to others, contact me.

 

Carl Olsen designed these gorgeous chapter-opening icons for the book.
Click them to move quickly to a chapter theme.

1

flourishing

  • Readers may be interested in the original speech on which this book is based. The audience was a group of mathematicians rather than the general public.

Mentioned in the book:

2

exploration

  • Exploratory learning is the heart of inquiry-based learning. The Academy of Inquiry Based Learning provides resources and training for teachers at all levels to facilitate this type of learning.

  • Tracy Johnston Zager helps K-8 teachers see and teach math the way professional mathematicians think about it: full of inquiry, exploration, taking risks, asking good questions, in Becoming The Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had.

Mentioned the book:

  • You can read more about the mathematical aspects of rings of Saturn.

  • Everyone should read Paul Lockhart’s “A Mathematician’s Lament.” There is also a book-length version.

  • Achi and other games from Africa can be found in physical form in the MIND Research Institute’s South of the Sahara game box. Claudia Zaslavsky has two books: Math Games & Activities from Around the World and a sequel.

  • Lots of wisdom about math teaching, including its human aspects, can be found on teacher Fawn Nguyen's blog.

  • The Art of Problem-Solving website is an excellent resource for interesting problems.

  • Math teacher Ben Orlin illuminates exploration, and so much more about math, through hilarious comics in Math With Bad Drawings

3

play

  • Sunil Singh and Chris Brownell show how play is central to math teaching in their recent book: Math Recess: Playful Learning in an Age of Disruption.

4

meaning

  • Fourth list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

5

beauty

  • Fifth list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

6

permanence

  • Sixth list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

7

truth

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

8

struggle

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

9

power

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

10

justice

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

11

freedom

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

  • Epigraph 1. Helen Keller, The Story of My Life (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1905), 39.

  • Epigraph 2. Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), 152.

  • 1. To learn some of his shortcuts, see Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer, Secrets of Mental Math (New York: Three Rivers, 2006).

  • 2. This shortcut for multiplying by 11 will require a “carry” if the sum of the digits is 10 or more. For instance, to compute 75 Å~ 11, you should add 7 and 5 to get 12, put the 2 between the 7 and the 5, and then carry the 1 by adding it to the 7, to get 8. Thus, the answer is 825. If you know some algebra, you can use it to show why the shortcut works: the number 10a + b is the number with digits a and b. Then (10a + b) Å~ 11 = 110a + 11b = 100a + 10(a + b) + b. This last expression does indeed suggest adding the two digits and putting their sum between them.

  • 3. Georg Cantor, “Foundations of a General Theory of Manifolds: A Mathematico-Philosophical Investigation into the Theory of the Infinite,” trans. William Ewald, in From Kant to Hilbert: A Source Book in the Foundations of Mathematics, ed. Ewald (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), vol. 2, 896 (Åò8). Italics in the original.

  • 4. Evelyn Lamb, “A Few of My Favorite Spaces: The Infinite Earring,” Roots of Unity (blog), Scientific American, July 31, 2015, https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/a-few-of-my-favorite-spaces-the-infinite-earring/.

  • 5. J. W. Alexander, “An Example of a Simply Connected Surface Bounding a Region Which Is Not Simply Connected,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 10, no. 1 (January 1924):8–10.

12

community

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

13

love

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

7

truth

  • Seventh list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

 

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© 2020 by Francis Edward Su