Letting kids know that math IS a social activity

by Kareem Carr

Often the perception of mathematics is that it can be a lonely enterprise.   This can have more than a bit of truth to it especially in the early years.  I think this is because mathematical aptitude and enthusiasm can be very, very sparsely distributed.  This is not only true of mathematics however, but almost any relatively esoteric endeavor.   This is a state of affairs that has been drastically alleviated by the internet.  People with a strong passion for mathematics, but separated by hundreds or thousands of miles, can now share thoughts.  Socializing online is not a complete substitute for socializing offline. However, as we get older, attend college, enter graduate school and become professional mathematicians, we begin to enter large social networks where more and more fellow devotees of mathematics become known to us.  I think we need to do a better job of communicating this to young math students.

[Image courtesy of xkcd]

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