The ‘Nobel Prize of Math’ Has Been Won By A Woman For The First Time Ever

Greetings with some good news for the women’s world. Just recently, one of the most prestigious mathematics prizes in the world – The Abel Prize was awarded to a woman for the first time ever. Yes! Karen Uhlenbeck is a mathematician and a professor at the University of Texas and is now the first woman to win this prize in mathematics. You go Karen!

The award, which is modeled by the Nobel Prize, is awarded by the king of Norway to honor mathematicians who have made an influence in their field including a cash prize of around $700,000. The award to Karen cites for “the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.” This award exists since 2003 but has only been won by men since.

Among her colleagues, Dr. Uhlenbeck is renowned for her work in geometric partial differential equations as well as integrable systems and gauge theory. One of her most famous contributions were her theories of predictive mathematics and in pioneering the field of geometric analysis.

Sun-Yung Alice Chang, a mathematician at Princeton University who was in the prize committee says about her: “She did things nobody thought about doing, and after she did, she laid the foundations of a branch of mathematics.”

Source: The ‘Nobel Prize of Math’ Has Been Won By A Woman For The First Time Ever

Topic: Morrey Spaces and Regularity for Yang-Mills Higgs Equations
Speaker: Karen Uhlenbeck
Affiliation: School of Mathematics
Date: December 7, 2018


Class Pad: Free digital scratch paper for the math classroom – via Kelly Tenkely | iGeneration – 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)

Class Pad: Free digital scratch paper for the math classroom – via Kelly Tenkely on iGeneration – 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation) curated by Tom D’Amico (@TDOttawa)

Source: Class Pad: Free digital scratch paper for the math classroom – via Kelly Tenkely | iGeneration – 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)

Why Mathematicians Can’t Find the Hay in a Haystack – Vladyslav Danilin


The first time I heard a mathematician use the phrase, I was sure he’d misspoken. We were on the phone, talking about the search for shapes with certain properties, and he said, “It’s like looking for hay in a haystack.” “Don’t you mean a needle?” I almost interjected. Then he said it again. In mathematics, it turns out, conventional modes of thought sometimes get turned on their head. The mathematician I was speaking with, Dave Jensen of the University of Kentucky, really did mean “hay in a haystack.” By it, he was expressing a strange fact about mathematical research: Sometimes the most common things are the hardest to find…….

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5 Tips for Improving Students’ Success in Math By Rachel Levy


What does it take to improve student success and interest in math? The Philadelphia-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) asked more than 400 U.S. high school math teachers for their advice related to teaching and learning mathematics.

“The good news is that students can have success in math class with the right effort, attitude, and behavior, regardless of a natural affinity or being ‘good at math,’” said Michelle Montgomery, project director of the MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge at SIAM. “Using quantitative skills to solve real, open-ended problems by employing the mathematical modeling process is a great way to get started.”





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Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later – Barbara Oakley


For parents who want to encourage their daughters in STEM subjects, it’s crucial to remember this: Math is the sine qua non.

You and your daughter can have fun throwing eggs off a building and making papier-mâché volcanoes, but the only way to create a full set of options for her in STEM is to ensure she has a solid foundation in math. Math is the language of science, engineering and technology. And like any language, it is best acquired through lengthy, in-depth practice.

But for girls, this can be trickier than it looks. This is because many girls can have a special advantage over boys — an advantage that can steer them away from this all-important building block.

A large body of research has revealed that boys and girls have, on average, similar abilities in math. But girls have a consistent advantage in reading and writing and are often relatively better at these than they are at math, even though their math skills are as good as the boys’. The consequence? A typical little boy can think he’s better at math than language arts. But a typical little girl can think she’s better at language arts than math. As a result, when she sits down to do math, she might be more likely to say, “I’m not that good at this!” She actually is just as good (on average) as a boy at the math — it’s just that she’s even better at language arts.

Of course, it’s hard to know what’s taking place in the minds of babes. But studies revealing developmental differences between boys’ versus girls’ verbal abilities alongside developmental similarities in boys’ and girls’ math abilities — combined with studies that show that among girls, self-perceived ability affects academic performance — seem to indicate that something like the above dynamic might be going on.

Unfortunately, thinking you’re not very good at something can be a quick path to disliking and avoiding it, even if you do have natural ability. You can begin to avoid practicing it, because to your mind, that practice is more painful than learning what comes more easily. Not practicing, in turn, transforms what started out as a mere aversion into a genuine lack of competence. Unfortunately, the way math is generally taught in the United States — which often downplays practice in favor of emphasizing conceptual understanding — can make this vicious circle even worse for girls.

It’s important to realize that math is, to some extent, like playing a musical instrument. But the instrument you play is your own internal neural apparatus.

When we learn to play an instrument — say, the guitar — it’s obvious that simply understanding how a chord is constructed isn’t the equivalent of being able to play the chord. Guitar teachers know intuitively that the path to success and creativity at the guitar is to practice until the foundational patterns are deeply ingrained. The word “rote” has a bad rap in modern-day learning. But the reality is that rote practice, by which I mean routine practice that keeps the focus on what comes harder for you, plays an important role. The foundational patterns must be ingrained before you can begin to be creative.

Math is like that, too. As the researcher K. Anders Ericsson has shown, becoming an expert at anything requires the development of neural patterns that are acquired through much practice and repetition. Understanding is part of acquiring expertise, but it certainly isn’t all. But today’s “understanding-centered” approach to learning math, combined with efforts to make the subject more “fun” by avoiding drill and practice, shortchanges children of the essential process of instilling the neural patterns they need to be successful. And it may be girls that suffer most.

All American students could benefit from more drilling: In the international PISA test, the United States ranks near the bottom among the 35 industrialized nations in math. But girls especially could benefit from some extra required practice, which would not only break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike, but build confidence and that sense of, “Yes, I can do this!” Practice with math can help close the gap between girls’ reading and math skills, making math seem like an equally good long-term study option. Even if she ultimately chooses a non-STEM career, today’s high-tech world will mean her quantitative skills will still come in handy.

All learning isn’t — and shouldn’t be — “fun.” Mastering the fundamentals is why we have children practice scales and chords when they’re learning to play a musical instrument, instead of just playing air guitar. It’s why we have them practice moves in dance and soccer, memorize vocabulary while learning a new language and internalize the multiplication tables. In fact, the more we try to make all learning fun, the more we do a disservice to children’s abilities to grapple with and learn difficult topics. As Robert Bjork, a leading psychologist, has shown, deep learning involves “desirable difficulties.” Some learning just plain requires effortful practice, especially in the initial stages. Practice and, yes, even some memorization are what allow the neural patterns of learning to take form.

Take it from someone who started out hating math and went on to become a professor of engineering: Do your daughter a favor — give her a little extra math practice each day, even if she finds it painful. In the long run, she’ll thank you for it. (And, by the way: the same applies to your son.)

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