Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Anchored by Melissa Bell  |  About  |  Get Updates:  Twitter  |   Facebook  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed
Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Making math magic: Vi Hart doodles her lessons

By Melissa Bell
height
(Screengrab from YouTube)

A friend sent this to me:

My office randomly started talking about Montessori schools yesterday, and today there have been a lot of cool alternative-math-teaching e-mails flying around (for example, did you know the Egyptians did math in exactly the same way as computers do it today?).
Anyway, someone sent a link to a super nerdy math-doodler that makes crazy awesome and inspirational videos. Seeing as you are also nerdy, I thought you would get a kick out of it.

He's right. I do. And I think you will, too. The math doodler is Vi Hart from Long Island, N.Y. She hates math class. She loves math. She spent a lot of time doodling in class because "it's too heartbreaking to watch [the teacher] butcher what could have been such a fun subject full of snakes and balloons," she says in one of her YouTube tutorials.

She's full of ire at the sorry state of schooling -- and she has reason to be. A report released by the U.S. Education Department last week shows that 15-year-old students in the United States performed below average in mathematics compared with those in other industrialized nations. Out of 34 countries, we rank 25th in math knowledge. That's not pretty.

Her videos could help in correcting this trend because she makes mathematics look so enticing. She carves dodecahedral shapes out of a pumpkin. She makes eating candy buttons into a lesson on Mobius strips. Her fast-talking enthusiasm is utterly winning. When she triumphantly says, "This is why I love mathmateics: the moment when you realize that something seemingly arbitrary and confusing is actually part of something," I wanted to cheer.

For a less playful, and more of a passionate call to arms, read Paul Lockhart's "A Mathematician's Lament."

(Via NPR. And thank you, Dan!)

By Melissa Bell  | December 17, 2010; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Facebook crash; WikiLeaks; Gold-dispensing ATMs; and more
Next: Jon Stewart's campaign for the Zadroga bill (Video)

Comments

we have 55 words available at

www.learntoreadfree.com

for five year olds. Public School proven

soon 110 words

914.472.9849

Posted by: veegee6 | December 18, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company