Today's math curriculum is teaching students to expect -- and excel at -- paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.
Jim Simons was a mathematician and cryptographer who realized: the complex math he used to break codes could help explain patterns in the world of finance. Billions later, he's working to support the next generation of math teachers and scholars. TED's Chris Anderson sits down with Simons to talk about his extraordinary life in numbers.
From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming.
During the Cold War, Soviet educators were tasked with raising citizens who could out-innovate and out-build their American counterparts. One of their primary tools for doing so? Math. Educator Masha Gershman describes how the adaptive, highly social Soviet approach to teaching math can be deployed to prep new generations for an ever-shifting future.
Mohamad Jebara loves mathematics -- but he's concerned that too many students grow up thinking that this beautiful, rewarding subject is difficult and boring. His company is experimenting with a bold idea: paying students for completing weekly math homework. He explores the ethics of this model and how it's helping students -- and why learning math is crucial in the era of fake news.
Mathematics is not about following rules, it's about playing—and exploring, fighting, looking for clues, and sometimes even breaking things, according to Dan Finkel. In this playful, inspiring talk, the founder of Math for Love offers teachers and parents alike a five-step guide to sharing the beauty and playfulness of mathematical thinking with children.