Do the Math
April 06, 2011
For Professor Shai Simonson, a mathematician and computer scientist, math is a passion and he relishes the chance to show students how logical, fascinating and relevant the subject can be.
However, as he discovered while teaching math at a day school, text books that should be engaging children with the challenge and mystery of math are often uninspiring.
Hence his new book, Rediscovering Mathematics: You Do The Math, an eclectic collection of topics and puzzles that focuses on problem solving as opposed to rote memorization.
Published by the Mathematical Association of America, the book, according to Simonson, who has taught math and computer science at Stonehill for 20 years, is about clarity, experimentation and analysis.
When asked to identify an approach that might help students to enjoy math while becoming more mathematically literate, Simonson had five suggestions:
- Understand rather than memorize
- Investigate rather than trust and accept
- Use conjecture and discovery, avoid imitation
- Struggle, challenge yourself, and never give up.
Whether exploring Pi in the Bible, clever calculations or tricks and puzzles, Simonson's book provides a fresh take on math for those who already like the subject but also offers a second chance to those who might think that they do not.
A champion of tacking puzzles in the classroom, Simonson also understands that not all puzzles can be solved. In the book's dedication, he pays tribute to his wife Andrea who has taught him that "love is a puzzle best enjoyed unsolved."
For more information on Simonson's new book, visit here.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.