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Math is an art and a language for everyday life!


MathActionStudents and community members gathered Saturday at Grand Valley State University to attend presentations during the annual Math in Action Conference. Charlene Beckmann, a mathematics professor at GVSU, has been the co-chair for the conference since 2007.

Beckmann said the university continues to host the event every year because it provides an opportunity for both students and teachers to learn from others in their field. This year, more than 200 people registered from areas across the state. Firas Hindeleh, assistant mathematics professor, said the event is important because it helps keep teachers updated with research and the current education standards in the state, but it has other benefits, too.

“It is an opportunity for our students to see the real topics they’re going to face in the future,” he said. “It’s a win-win for the community and students.” He added that some students are afraid of math because they do not like to make mistakes, which is a human trait.

“In Mathematics, it’s a place where we encourage people to make mistakes and correct them,” Hindeleh said. “We deal with a lot of these anxieties, especially at lower levels. We need to encourage students to explore and tell them they can do these things.”

Beckmann agreed that students are often afraid of math, but those who want to become math teachers can help combat this fear by loving their students, loving their subject and teaching why things work instead of only explaining how.

Paul Garrett, a senior at GVSU, is studying to become a mathematics teacher. Garrett is one of the many students who attended the event for the first time, choosing to volunteer as an opportunity to learn from other teachers in the area.

Garrett said he wants to teach mathematics for a variety of reasons. Like Beckmann and Firas, he believes math is important for everyday life.

“Math is a valuable tool for everyone and anyone that expects to succeed,” Garrett said. “It’s an art and a language that stimulates thinking and creativity, teaches and demands perseverance, and helps someone understand the world around them. I want to show people this and help them understand it.” Read the full article here.

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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