Archive for February 25, 2014

A John Arlott Century

Posted in Cricket with tags , , , on February 25, 2014 by telescoper

With no disrespect at all to the current presenters of Test Match Special, I don’t think listening to cricket on the radio has been quite the same since September 2nd 1980, the day that John Arlott gave his last commentary:

This brief post is just to point out that John Arlott was born on 25th February 1914, i.e. one hundred years ago today. He died in 1991 at his home in Alderney, but is remembered fondly not only for his wonderful gift for evocative descriptions of cricket, but for the warmth and humanity that shone through in his commentaries.

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How should mathematics be taught to non-mathematicians?

Posted in Education with tags , , , , on February 25, 2014 by telescoper

This post from the estimable “Gowers’s Weblog” passed me by when it was originally published in 2012, but I saw the link on Twitter and decided to repost it here because it’s still topical..

Gowers's Weblog

Michael Gove, the UK’s Secretary of State for Education, has expressed a wish to see almost all school pupils studying mathematics in one form or another up to the age of 18. An obvious question follows. At the moment, there are large numbers of people who give up mathematics after GCSE (the exam that is usually taken at the age of 16) with great relief and go through the rest of their lives saying, without any obvious regret, how bad they were at it. What should such people study if mathematics becomes virtually compulsory for two more years?

A couple of years ago there was an attempt to create a new mathematics A-level called Use of Mathematics. I criticized it heavily in a blog post, and stand by those criticisms, though interestingly it isn’t so much the syllabus that bothers me as the awful exam questions. One might…

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