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• CommentRowNumber1.
• CommentAuthorTim_Porter
• CommentTimeApr 25th 2016

I notice that Zoran started a page on New Math. Perhaps we should refer to the song of that title. (and if you don’t know of it, look on Google with Lehrer new Math.)

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorzskoda
• CommentTimeApr 26th 2016
• (edited Apr 26th 2016)

No, I am sorry to oppose your kind suggestion, but I think we should not refer to the song of that title. The wikipedia has about ONE HALF of the material on its page on New Math refering to various off-beat collaterals of the topic like that song, and very little content on what was really happening. We talk about a failed project which consumed a decade in efforts of a major world country and expenditure of many billion dollars and of arguable relevance to a connection of the education of math to the contemporary math of actual users and practioners and the main page in the world of public knowledge (wikipedia) is having half of it on irrelevant stuff and very little reliable information and in-depth coverage. At least we can avoid that wasting style in the $n$Lab. I consider myself not an administrator of a restroom but a diligent contributor to a site of intellectual content.

By the way I noticed in the wikipedia page that somebody among wikipedia conrtibutors complained against the paragraph saying that the Boolean algebra has application in databases, data representation, computer science and programming, that this (high school fact) is not documented and that the paragraph may have a deletion so I spent some time to copy references from other wikpedia articles (on databases and Boolean algebra) and links to those pages. Wikipedia has all these control mechanisms to delete obvious and keeps many irrelevant data and links and arbitrary statements when linked to some low quality online material. So you can write that 1+1=2 and this may be deleted as unconfirmed statement if you do not link it to a source (or quote full reference), but you can quote some trash like El Naschie’s articles and then this will stay there for decades. This has some good reasons but I think it went to far. And they post threats to delete in hours after you write a contribution, so you can not often have a leisure of contributing text and returning to the document it in months to come even if it is about a minor issue without any urgency.

• CommentRowNumber3.
• CommentAuthorTodd_Trimble
• CommentTimeApr 26th 2016

For easy one-click access: New Math.

I grew up with “New Math” to some extent, especially in my very early years, and I expect Quine (as quoted in Wikipedia) is correct about the extent to which New Math made obeisance to set theory (not much). I can also verify through my children’s experiences in school that some of that Boolean algebra of classes survives today in standard math curricula. E.g., teaching and testing Venn diagrams.

Another example I have seen in primary school curricula is commutativity of addition and multiplication exhibited via coproducts and products of bags of dots.

So some of the conceptions underlying “New Math” survive, even if some of it clearly didn’t work as hoped.

• CommentRowNumber4.
• CommentAuthorfastlane69
• CommentTimeApr 26th 2016
• (edited Apr 26th 2016)

Another example I have seen in primary school curricula is commutativity of addition and multiplication exhibited via coproducts and products of bags of dots.

For those who haven’t read it, the bag of dots technique is the same Schanuel and Lawvere use in “Conceptual Mathematics” to introduce and work with small categories; they call it a co-graph which represents internal structure vs. a graph which represents external structure.