Reinvigorating The Mathematics Culture: The Problems Are Not Only Quantitative

Curriculum quality must change in order for the depleted math profession to attract young scholars, workshop attendees agree The teaching of mathematics requires drastic change, according to a group of academic mathematicians who met in Oakland last month. The approach and the content of university mathematics are dangerously out of synch with the needs of both students and industry, and the result, the mathematicians contend, is causing the number and quality of mathematics students to dwindl

Scott Huler
Apr 12, 1992
Curriculum quality must change in order for the depleted math profession to attract young scholars, workshop attendees agree
The teaching of mathematics requires drastic change, according to a group of academic mathematicians who met in Oakland last month. The approach and the content of university mathematics are dangerously out of synch with the needs of both students and industry, and the result, the mathematicians contend, is causing the number and quality of mathematics students to dwindle.

"We're just not getting students into the pipeline," says Naomi Fisher, codirector of Mathematicians and Education Reform (MER), a four-year-old center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which sponsored the March gathering, entitled "Joint Mathematics Workshop on Changing the Culture: Education and the Research Community." The Oakland meeting was the center's eighth, with more planned.

"The number of students who say they're interested in mathematics is declining, and the half-life of mathematics students...

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