Inspiring HS math teacher leaves legacy

Jaime Escalante changed minds and opinions about the possibility of successfully teaching demanding subjects to inner-city students. In 1982, 14 of Escalante's students at Garfield High School in working-class East Los Angeles passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam. Many more students took and passed the challenging exam during Escalante's years teaching at the school.

Can math help us sleep better?

Maybe math hasn't contributed much to improve your daily rest. (Or maybe, at times, it has.)

But while we don't understand all the reasons for why the human body even needs sleep, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York state are taking a new approach to understanding the science of sleep, using mathematics. The research includes mathematical models measuring how environmental, medical or physical changes to the human body affect sleep, in order to more fully understand the sleep-wake cycle.

Just in time...

In case there's still any recognizable trace of pending success left in your NCAA tournament bracket this year, here's a new angle to consider. Economists have presented findings supporting the idea that basketball refs may be biased in many of their calls. We've considered the possibility for a long time, but now, thanks to math, we have evidence!

One million digits of pi

While the world celebrated pi day over the weekend, you may have felt that your memorization skills could use some sharpening. Or maybe you just plan to outshine the competition in next March's pi recitation contests. Either way, take a look here to start practicing your digits, so you're not left embarrassed when someone asks you the question and you can only remember the first two places--anyone can do that.

High-paying jobs use math skills

A Yahoo article highlights six jobs which can quickly earn you $100K, and math skills are valuable to many of those listed. Take a look.

Calculating Success in Baseball

Kerry Whisnant, an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and professor of physics at Iowa State University, may be on to something that will greatly impact team winning percentages. Mathematical models that he and other fanatic baseball statisticians have helped produce may accurately predict teams' successes. Whisnant and other members of the Society for American Baseball Research have analyzed baseball statistics, creating new theories about team success.

Finding Lost Things...Big Lost Things

In 1966, a mid-air collision between a USAF B-52 bomber and an air refueling tanker off the coast of Spain caused more damage than the destroyed aircraft. The bomber carried four atomic bombs. Three were recovered soon afterward on land, but the fourth was nowhere to be found, and presumed to be at the bottom of the Mediterranean.

Is Math the Key to Curing Cancer?

Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has noticed patterns in the way cancer spreads. He is advocating a higher degree of mathematical study for researchers who are delving into the disease.

You Can Do It!

Anyone who has spent time trying to solve a Rubik's Cube knows it can be frustrating. (How quickly you can turn order into chaos, never to return to order....) But with a little help from the makers of the cube, you might learn to do it. And quickly impress your friends.

Building a Better Bridge

For centuries, we humans have been building big bridges. And just when we thought we had the science and math figured out to span waterways most efficiently, we may be in for some new discoveries.

Matthew Gilbert, a structural engineer in the United Kingdom, with his team of researchers, has developed a numerical optimization program that could help us build large suspension bridges even more effectively. Read more from Science.


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The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.



Figures represent salary potential.


Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

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