My Math 2.0 interview archive

Last week I was interviewed by Ihor Charischak for Math 2.0, a weekly webinar about math education and how it’s evolving (or not, as the case may be!) Ihor is an old friend and we framed the conversation using the stages of my own career and how math fit in. I’ve been a math geek, an electrical engineer and programmer in aerospace, a game designer and producer (educational and regular games), a parent, and now work with schools evangelizing a more student-centered, technology enhanced way to learn. All these experiences have shaped what I know and how I feel about math education.

I’m shocked at the trend that sees math as an endless series of skills, diced smaller and smaller into unrecognizable (but seemingly testable) nonsense. It’s a problem that many people only see arithmetic as math. I see too much vocabulary and not enough comprehension. I’m at a loss to understand why math is continually portrayed as not creative.

I’m becoming even more sure that we are doing damage to students when we teach them to narrowly find answers quickly and “the right way.” In the name of helping students “be confident with math skills”  I think we are unwittingly teaching students to be less sure of themselves. I’m afraid that this math-phobia will have disastrous long-term consequences for students and society.

But like I said to Ihor, I can’t make any other choice than to be positive about the future of math education and work to expand and explain alternatives. This is where the kids are!

Ihor says in his blog CLIME Connections: Math 2.0 Linchpin Interview: Takeaways, “I had a fun time talking about the trials, tribulations and hopes for the future of math education with Sylvia Martinez last night.” I agree, it was fun, and we could have gone on for hours!

You can listen to the recorded session here. (This will launch the full Elluminate session with the recording, whiteboard, and chat window. Your browser may ask for permission to launch something!)


Math 2.0 interview with Sylvia Martinez

On Wednesday, Oct. 27 2010 I’ll be talking with Ihor Charischak of the weekly Math 2.0 online chat about Engineering, Game Development, and Math Education.

A couple of careers ago I was an electrical engineer and programmer in aerospace, then did game development for consoles and PCs. Some the games were “educational” and some weren’t, but the process of building a game was certainly educational for me! The connections between these subjects might not be obvious, but I think the connective thread is that “real world” math is disconnected from “school” math in many ways. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk about all that and some solutions during our hour together.

Ihor and I are old friends, so this gives an opportunity to make some of our private conversations over the years more public.

When: Wed October 27, 2010, 18:30-19:30, US/Pacific (GMT-08:00)*Find your local time zone here.
Participant URL:
More information:

Please join us!