Call for Writers!

Are you interested in contributing the AMS grad student blog (or know someone who is)?  We are looking to assemble as stellar team of staff writers from the coming year, so please put interested students in touch with editor-in-chief Sarah Salmon. We welcome contributions on anything related to grad school life (teaching, managing stress, preparing for exams, etc.) or math (including math history, minorities in math, riddles, visualizations, videos, interesting theorems and proofs).  Staff writers commit to writing one post each month ranging from a few lines to a full essay and should be masters or PhD students in math, applied math, network science, operations research, or other highly mathematical fields whose interests and experiences mirror those of math grad students (certain subfields of economics, physics, computational biology, or computer science, for example).  We also welcome sporadic guest contributions from those not yet or no longer in graduate school who have something to say of interest to the math grad school community.

Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Applying the Inquiry-Oriented Approach in teaching Math Courses

The Inquiry-Oriented (IO) Approach and Advanced Mathematical Thinking (AMT) processes play an important role in improving undergraduate math education. IO approach and AMT processes act as a new movement of modern math education based on the methods used in math high school education and lower-division courses of calculus. Several published research papers talked about the Inquiry-Oriented Approach as a process that is pretty similar to any process of the Advanced Mathematical Thinking which combines both teacher activity and student activity, and they interact with each other to form what is known as inquiry process.

Continue reading “Applying the Inquiry-Oriented Approach in teaching Math Courses” »

Posted in Math Education, Math Teaching, Teaching | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Evolution of Navigating the Sea

Guest Author: Tyler Padera

Have you ever been asked to hang out with a new friend, but maybe you didn’t know where they lived? Maybe you were going to an interview for your new job but needed directions. The solution to both of these problems is using a GPS system. We are very fortunate to be able to input an address and be given step by step directions to our destination. One rainy afternoon I began thinking about this and asked myself, “What was the world like before GPS? How did people navigate?” I began to think about how we can easily make it to the other side of the city, but how we now can make it across to the other side of the world. How did people navigate the sea without any technology? Thankfully George Christoph (view his talk and others give us somewhat of an insight on how ships were sailed way back when.

When sailors are sailing ships the vessels can be thrown off course very easily whether it was a human error, change in current, or a nasty storm. The slightest miscue could potentially cause the sailors to miss their destination. Since there was ambiguity in whether or not the ship was on the right course the sailors came up with an idea that would help them know if land was near. In the early days of sailing the Vikings would release a bird to fly above the ship. Continue reading “The Evolution of Navigating the Sea” »

Posted in Math History, Mathematics in Society, Technology & Math | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is Math Truly Forever?

Guest Author: Andrea McNally

Anyone involved in the discipline of math can most likely recall one, if not multiple, instances of being questioned on the usefulness of math. Eduardo Saenz de Cabezon addresses this question in his TED talk “Math is foreAndrea McNally_925512_assignsubmission_file_cartoon picver” (which can be found here). He claims there are three types of responses. First, the attacking one, which states math has a meanings all its own without the need for application. Next is the defensive one, which replies math is behind everything from bridge building to credit card numbers. The third response is where Eduardo claims math’s utility stems from its ability to control intuition, thus making it eternal.

Continue reading “Is Math Truly Forever?” »

Posted in Math, Math History | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


With the start of the new school year, we say farewell to our editor-in-chief (me) and welcome several editors to new roles.  I’m honored to have served the grad student community this past year and excited to pass the torch on to our first female editor-in-chief, Sarah Salmon!  The amazing Alexi Hoeft is moving up to fill Sarah’s old role of senior editor, while Irving Dai will serve as managing editor.  As always, we are eager to welcome new staff writers who can contribute monthly, as well as writers interested in an occasional guest post, so please refer interested writers to

Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | 3 Comments