This Week at Global Math







This Week at Global Math




Edited By Casey McCormick @cmmteach

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Creating Professional Learning for Change
Presented by Audrey Mendivil (@audrey_mendivil)

How can we use best practices in teaching to inform our professional development design? What elements form effective professional development, and how do they relate to lesson planning, formative assessment, and human nature? Join us as we learn together and leave with a plan of action for your future professional development design. 

To join the meeting when it starts at 9pm Eastern (or RSVP if it’s before 9pm), click here.

Did you miss last week’s Global Math Department? Click here to listen to Dr. Monica Neagoy talk about Unpacking Fractions: Moving from Senseless Rote to Sense Making & Joy.

The #MTBoS Never Sleeps

Making the Most of Technology and Tools

Jennifer Wilson is always so purposeful in her blogging. Her classroom will be 1:1 with technology this year and she starts the year by asking a wonderful question:

What place does pencil and paper have in my students’ learning and understanding of mathematics?

Her descriptive and thorough blog post, Blending Technology with Paper and Pencil, will demonstrate how descriptive, informative, and thorough Jennifer is when it comes to meaningful learning of mathematics in her classrooms. She shares evidence of student work not only through technology, paper and pencil, but with strategies like “Notice and Note” to use “words, pictures, and numbers to write and sketch what they saw.” This blog post is jam packed with great ideas, strategies, and curiosities all with the intention to help our students remember the math they learn. “Notice and Note” aims to do that.

Jennifer ends by saying:

I am convinced that we need to pay attention to when we are asking, encouraging, and requiring students to use pencil and paper to create a record of what they are learning…so that students…have a better chance of remembering it later.

If you’re interested in learning more about making math stick, I highly recommend the book Make It Stick.
Written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

Starting the Year with Engaging Math Tasks

There have been some great suggestions recently regarding favourite math tasks and activities for getting class started on the right foot. Many teachers and students have already started the 2017-18 school year but there are many more that have yet to commence. Most public schools in Canada will have their first day of school during the first week in September. Check out the hashtags #mtbosfd (short for MTBoS First Day) and #myfavoritemathtaskis for ideas on how to start out the year.

Matthew Oldridge wrote a blog post titled First Day of September Problems in your Math Classroom with some suggestions for problems as well as why you might use them.  He asks, “Do you start with building class community, work on class norms or rules, or do you start with a good problem?” He suggests that starting with a rich mathematical problem signals to kids, “this is a problem-solving community” and “we think in this classroom.”

Whatever task you might use, I believe it should arouse your students’ curiosity, be accessible to all of your students, and generate discussion about different solving strategies. A favourite problem of mine that I believe meets these criteria is called The Four Coins Problem. “You’re creating a new coin system for your country. You must use only four coin values and you must be able to create the values 1 through 10 using one coin at a minimum and two coins maximum.” This problem is simple to state but has lots of opportunities for extension and discussion.

euro-1130696_1280.jpg

I hope you all have an amazing start back to school, refreshed and inspired for a great year ahead. A special welcome as well to teachers starting their very first year in the classroom with all the excitement and anxiety that this entails.

Written by Erick Lee (@TheErickLee)

More Talking = More Learning!

Sara VanDerWerf is at it again bringing us gems for starting up a new school year.  Her recent post, entitled STAND & TALKS. The Best Thing I Ever Did to Get Students Talking to One Another, is very thorough and includes a description of the routine, a sample scenario, and tons of examples of how she uses the routine as well as other routines she incorporates together with a Stand & Talk (S&T).

An example of a Stand & Talk used to introduce students to new vocabulary

Essentially, an S&T is a lot like Think, Pair, Share or Turn & Talk, but with the add-in that students stand and find a partner in another area of the room to discuss with before the task is given.  Sara says this gets nearly all students talking every time she uses it, and has the added bonus of a possible energy-injector in a stale classroom.

Three big goals Sara has in her classroom are accomplished by using this routine:

  1. Getting students moving every class period

  2. Getting students to notice the math first, before she says anything

  3. De-fronting the classroom

Whatever your goals this upcoming school year, this routine seems to be one that will really go far to get students processing the mathematics as well as owning their learning.

Another must-read is an oldie but a goodie from Geoff Krall, found here.  Entitled Seven (Sneaky) Activities to Get Your Students Talking Mathematically, Geoff highlights some amazing activities that are sure to get discourse going in your classroom.

Happy Math!

Written by Matt Engle (@pickpocketsbme)

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#TMC17 My Favorites

Recaps from Twitter Math Camp, 2017 Edition! Speakers will share some of their favorite moments from TMC2017. Here are links from the slides that have been organized into a convenient Google Doc. Featuring presenters  and host Deb Boden.

Presentation recorded on August 8th, 2017

Back to School with Global Math







Back to School with Global Math




Edited By Nate Goza @thegozaway

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Online Professional Development Sessions

Unpacking Fractions: Moving from Senseless Rote to Sense Making and Joy
Dr. Monica Neagoy

Students’ love for mathematics ends when they surrender sense making and yield to senseless memorization. Through powerful examples, the webinar explores: reasons for the difficulty, insights into sound pedagogy, engaging tasks, interactive fraction apps, and bridges to the future.

To join the meeting when it starts at 9pm Eastern (or RSVP if it’s before 9pm), click here.

Last week at Global Math TMC17 attendees shared their highlights from Twitter Math Camp.  Click here to check it out!  Also, if Podcasts are your thing, click here to check out former GMD Presentations in Podcast form!

Hit the Ground Running with the #MTBoS

Four Great Bloggers You Don’t Want to Miss & The #SundayFunday Challenge
 

I try to read the (hundreds of) blogs I follow on my Bloglovin feed, but when I HAVE to do a quick scan due to crunch time, there are four bloggers whose blogs I must read from start to finish EVERY TIME. Even when I say to myself, “Oh, I can skip this one for now,” without fail, I am drawn into their writing, their ideas, and their knack of discovering something that, without it, feels like I’ve had a complete void in my classroom! Their blogs are chock full of information that can be used THAT DAY. If you don’t follow these four bloggers, be sure to do so right now!
 
The first blogger is Sarah Carter of Math Equals Love fame. She recently assembled her best ideas in 21 Ideas for the First Week of School and Most Referenced Posters just for her readers. I often see Sarah’s ideas tweeted and blogged about all over the #MTBoS and as a veteran teacher, I use many of her ideas and find them to be very fresh and student-centered.

The second blogger is Sara VanDerWerf. I heard Sara’s keynote last year at the Desmos pre-conference at Twitter Math Camp, and in just a few seconds I could tell that when Sara speaks, people listen. She just summed up her first week ideas this year in 1st Week Posts – Plus Something New. I see so many blog posts and tweets referencing her for name tents, the 5×5 game, and 100 Numbers, The Backwards Bike, and more. She is incredible, and I am so thankful for her many ideas. I use many of them in my classroom with much success.

The third blogger I can’t get enough of is Jo Morgan of Resourceaholic. In Math Gems, she shares news, ideas, and resources for math(s) teachers. Jo is from England, and I was lucky enough to meet her when I attended the Complete Maths workshop in London this summer (which I found on her conference list.) At the conference, math teachers were asking her for selfies and even on the train they were thanking her for all she does…she is like British royalty when it comes to mathematics!! You will always find a new resource in her blog, whichever side of the pond you are on!

And the fourth blogger is Fawn Nguyen from Finding Ways. Fawn always has something important and meaningful to say and often in a humorous way. She says it with such heart and soul that all I know is I want to be a student in her class right now. To me, she is like a lioness fiercely protecting her cubs when she talks of her students. I heard her keynote: Teacher Woman (poor audio quality on video so here is a PDF version) at Twitter Math Camp ‘15, and she had me in tears and laughing hysterically almost at the same time. Her passion for teaching is evident in her extraordinary writing. You can see her humor in this post: These Twenty Things and if you haven’t seen her sites http://www.visualpatterns.org/ or http://www.mathtalks.net/, you MUST get on that! Many bloggers speak of using her Noah’s Ark activity on the first day of school (including me!) Here is her latest blog, All I Got on Classroom Management, which is quite a bit!

I only mentioned four bloggers this week, but there are so many other amazing ones out there. You can find a TON of them at the weekly blogging challenge (#SundayFunday) that Julie Reulbach has organized. The first one is A Collection of Goals Across the MTBoS and the second is First Day blogs. Click here to submit for the next challenge. Don’t be nervous about blogging! Just do it and #pushsend!
 

 

Written by Lisa Winer (@Lisaqt314)

Looking to Join the Elementary Conversation?

As the new year starts, there are lots of great ideas floating around online but many elementary teachers don’t know where to find them. Elementary Math Chat takes place every Thursday night at 9pm EST. The chat is hosted by Melynee Naegele and Brian Bushart and the do an amazing job behind the scenes. Here’s what you’ve missed so far…

                   

This week, Annie Fetter takes the reigns and it’s sure to be a blast.  You can join the action by following the hashtag #ElemMathChat.

If you can’t get enough, NCTM & Zak Champagne host an elementary chat on the second Wednesday of every month. (#TCMChat) There are lots of thoughtful conversations taking place that center around a recent article from Teaching Children Mathematics.

If you have an elementary friend that doesn’t receive this newsletter, do them a favor and share.  Their students will thank you for it.

Written by Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy)
 

Writing, Reflecting, and Reaching out

The beginning of the school year can be really overwhelming, whether you’re a first year teacher or a 10th year teacher or a 30th year teacher!

Here are two recent blogs/tweets I loved that helped remind me how to start the year right:

The first is a couple of weeks old, and comes from Julie Reulbach (@jreulbach). Julie, along with a few other Twitter Math Camp attendees, is helping to get us all writing and reflecting about the beginning of the school year. I truly believe that two of the most important things for us to get better as math teachers are 1) to reflect on our own teaching and 2) to build community with others who are like minded, thus ensuring we are not isolated. So join in, even if you’re late in starting, like me! Here are the details about how to get involved.

The second was a post from Nancy Pendleton, who was asking for some advice for the first day of a first year teacher.
 
             
 
Some really good responses came back in response to her tweet—we’ve all been there, and her tweet resonated with yours truly, and I’m going into my 15th year! Good luck Nancy and all of the first year teachers! (And the rest of you too!)

Written by Steve Gnagni  (@Steve_Gnagni)

 

Collaborative Learning and Access for All Students

 
 
There are a lot of great curricula out there, but I’m very excited about an effort being led by two Southern California 8th grade teachers – Yekaterina Milvidskaia and Tiana Tebelman – who are combining problem-based learning with Complex Instruction and the ideas described in Jo Boaler’s book Mathematical Mindsets. Their site now has two units: Linear Functions and Transformational Geometry, which they created in conjunction with youcubed.org.
 
What I really love about their curriculum work, however, isn’t just the thoughtful problem sets, but the description of how they structure and support group work and suggestions for aligning assessment and homework to practices that promote equity and learning for all students. For example, instead of assigning many practice problems for homework, they now assign 1 – 3 mathematical questions that extend that day’s learning and one reflection question from a list of possible prompts. Several of their students’ quotes show that they appreciate the opportunity to reflect on their learning. One wrote, “This year I really like how we do our homework. I understand how to do my homework because of the reflections; those really help me because then I can remember what I did in class that day.”
 
In their section on group work, Yekaterina and Tiana share their overall philosophy, which comes from Complex Instruction. They have developed interesting group roles so that all students in a group have important contributions to make. That has been one of the challenging aspects of group roles for me when I have used them (for example, a common group role is Resource Manager, which often means the task of getting supplies at the start of class and then hanging out for the rest of the time), so I was especially excited to see these more evenly distributed roles. The roles they have come up with are Coach, Accountability Manager, Skeptic, and Team Captain. Each role card also includes sentence stems so that students have clear scaffolds and language to use.
 
In helping students get better at collaboration, Yekaterina and Tiana use two types of group assessments: a Participation Quiz and an Accountability Quiz. The first one helps students learn what equitable group work and real collaboration look and sound like. The teacher lets students know their expectations regarding how the groups will work together, then observes how each group interacts, writing down specific behaviors and student quotes, and then reporting this back to students so that they have clear feedback. The Accountability Quiz helps all students engage more fully with the mathematics they are learning and make sure that different approaches are discussed fully and no student is left behind. Each group prepares and when they believe they are ready, the teacher selects a student to question, using differentiated questions to challenge all students. They may select additional questions to further probe how well the team has discussed and understands the mathematics on which they are being assessed. In order for the team to pass, each selected student must demonstrate strong understanding, but they can regroup and work together and have multiple opportunities to be assessed. One thing I love about this strategy is that the teacher models the kind of questioning strategies that we want students to be internalizing in order to build a culture of skeptical peers in the classroom. I wonder if eventually, the role of questioner can be passed to other students to create even more student agency.
 
Collaborative and inquiry-based learning often includes student presentations and the folks at the Art of Mathematics have some great ideas for doing this better.
 
 
 
In this recent blog, Dr. Christine von Renesse documents the process through which she changed her more traditional rubric for student presentations, in which solutions that were completely or mostly correct were valued, to one that explicitly valued multiple approaches and making sense of big ideas above solutions that are correct, but don’t demonstrate important learning because she realized that:
 
“The most learning for the whole class often happened when the presentation was in fact not “completely, or mostly, correct with only a few insignificant errors,” as the highest result in the rubric requires. Instead, it was often mistakes in, or disagreements with, presented work that led to the richest discussions and deepest insights for a significant segment of the students.”
 
I love that her new assessment model allows her to match grading to what actually contributes to student learning, reducing the pressure on students to produce “perfect” presentations and making it less likely that they would avoid harder problems in order to game the system. At the end of the blog post, she also shares a wonderful quote from Allison Henrich, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Seattle University, who blogged about encouraging mistakes and uses the following language when too many “perfect” solutions have been presented:
 
“That was perfect! Too bad there were no mistakes in your work for us to learn more from. I’d like to hear from someone who tried a method for solving this problem that didn’t work out so well. Would anyone be willing to share something they tried with the class?”
 
It makes me really happy to see teachers at the college level increasing access to mathematics learning and refining strategies that help students develop agency and ownership of mathematics.
 
Anna Blinstein (@Borschtwithanna)
 

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Welcome Back, Global Math!







Welcome Back, Global Math!




Edited By Brian Bushart @bstockus

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#TMC17 My Favorites
Presented by Ali Grace Eiland (@AGEiland), Taylor Cesarski (@tcesarski), Joey Kelly (@joeykelly89), Brette Garner (@brettegarner), Madison Sandig (@madisonsandig4), Jami Packer (@jamidanielle), Jodi Kerble (@jkerble), and Trish Kepler (@KeplerTrish)

Join us for our FIRST session of the 2017-18 school year! Speakers will share recaps and favorite takeaways from Twitter Math Camp 2017 which recently took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Join us to be inspired and get some new ideas you’ll want to implement in the upcoming school year.

To join the meeting when it starts at 9pm Eastern (or RSVP if it’s before 9pm), click here.

Are you new to Global Math Department? Do you want to check out sessions from last year that you might have missed? Click here to learn more about upcoming sessions and to watch previously recorded sessions. The math department of your dreams is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

The #MTBOS Never Sleeps

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the Global Math Department newsletter for the 2017-18 school year! Last year we bid farewell to several veteran writers – but never fear! – we’ve gathered together a crew of fresh new voices in addition to a few writers sticking with us for another year. Each week they’re excited to share with you the blog posts, Twitter conversations, and other happenings from across the mathematical internet that resonate with them. We hope you enjoy the newsletter this year, and don’t hesitate to Tweet a word of thanks to a writer if you like something they share.

Written by Brian Bushart (@bstockus)

The Power of Community: Inspirations from #TMC17

TMC17 Logo.jpeg

I recently participated in my first Twitter Math Camp (TMC).  I was blown away, and I want to tell you why. 

TMC is unlike most math conferences because there are no attendees; instead, everyone is a participant. Because it is a community driven, grassroots conference for math educators by math educators, everyone shares the responsibility to create an inspirational, empowering, and inclusive culture that seeks to build the capacity of everyone in the community. Next year’s TMC is in Cleveland, OH on July 19-22. Mark your calendars and consider yourself invited.

I can’t possibly capture the scope and depth of my learning and all who attended. While I’ll still share one or two of my learning highlights, I invite you to check out the TMC wiki for presentations, workshops, and other inspirations from the community.

Grace Chen (@graceachen) delivered a powerful keynote speech about her life story and invited us to ponder the question: Is teaching necessarily political? Her answer: It’s complicated. And she asked: What politically motivated stereotypes could you disrupt in your school and classrooms? What counterstories would offer instead? In what ways do these stereotypes and stories create a culture of “normalcy” about who can learn and have access to high level mathematics and who cannot? You can read more about her work on Twitter and on her blog.

Sam Shah (@samjshah) invites us to make joy more visual in the math classroom. He shares his simple practice of letting students share with the classroom community when they experience joy during a lesson. His five minute talk is well worth the time. Or you can read his blog post about it.

My most important learning from TMC (#1TMCthing) is the power of a community that chooses to gather for the sake of learning together and sharing ideas. The commitment and passion to become more effective math teachers and more inspired math geeks was palpable and contagious last month. But our community has been weakened by a lack of diversity across the grade levels for years.

Graham Fletcher (@gfletchy) shared this image during his engaging and compelling keynote (11:30 mark on this video). It shows data from TMC 2015, but also closely represented the population in 2017.

To become a stronger, more brilliant community, we need to learn more from members in elementary education. If you are an elementary teacher, I encourage you to give a talk at TMC 2018. At the very least, come participate and help us get better! We need your perspective, wisdom, and teaching techniques. If you are not an elementary teacher, extend a personal invitation to the elementary teachers you know. If you need more inspiration, check out Tracy Zager’s (@TracyZager) keynote talk on this topic at TMC 2016.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Lisa Henry (@lmhenry9) and all the volunteers who make TMC happen. You can follow them on Twitter at @TMathC. Hope to see you there next year!

Written by Chase Orton (@mathgeek76)

Did Someone Say FREE?

In case you haven’t heard… the team at Illustrative Mathematics (@IllustrateMath) wrote a FREE curriculum (yes I said FREE) for grades 6 through 8 to be released by Open Up Resources!

The Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum is innovative, coherent, and provides access and rigor for all students. No stone was left unturned when crafting these materials. The level of passion and scrutiny that went into all things created is mind boggling. This curriculum “elevates mathematics instruction and sparks enjoyment of mathematics for students in a whole new way!” Just check out the work done on the embedded Geogebra applets released here.

The team was led by William McCallum (@wgmccallum)–who has promised to get back to blogging more often over at Mathematical Musings. This spring he wrote a four part series on Curricular Coherence. He shared, “…a coherent curriculum, focused on how to get students up the mountain, would make sense of the journey and single out key landmarks and stretches of trail—a long path through the woods, or a steep climb up a ridge.” From what I’ve seen…I believe the team has accomplished this. You can read the rest of his first post in the series here.

Another member of the Illustrative Mathematics writing team, Sadie Estrella (@wahedahbug), recently wrote about her experiences as a teacher “create(ing) content from scratch.” She goes on to write, “during this time, I had various resources I used, random texts, blog posts, etc. But never did I find any text or curriculum that I felt met the teaching philosophy I had in my head and emanated throughout my classroom. Pretty much every text I encountered looked like a replica of what I experienced as a student and that is DEF insufficient.” This resonated with me and it felt like she was in my head.

Reading her post, I could feel her skepticism regarding the “whole curriculum thing (curriculum schmiculum).” She acknowledges that it took some time working on this curriculum before she was able to stand back to see its power. She shares, “what I came to realize at this moment was that good curriculum, curriculum that does a lot of the heavy lifting in math content, coherence and some teacher moves (5 practices) allows the teacher to re prioritize the work they need to do in order to support quality learning.” What a powerful statement! And it’s so true. Check out the entirety of this post over at her blog here.

Kate Nowak (@k8nowak) answers the question “Do I have to do it this way?” about the Illustrative Mathematics Middle School Curriculum over at her blog. She chose a great analogy credited to someone at the Louisiana Department of Education.

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/chefs-competition-cooking-749563/

She writes, “if you were to try and cook a new, complicated recipe, you would probably make it as it’s written the first few times you make it. You don’t know what all the ingredients are for, you don’t know the rationale behind all of the instructions, you don’t really understand how it works, yet, before you cook it a few times. Once you start to understand the recipe, though, you can make smart choices to modify it to suit your tastes and needs: substitute green beans for eggplant, leave out the almonds, or take it out of the oven a little earlier, for example.”

And then there is the work happening over at #learnwithIM. Check it out and you’ll see teachers from across the country giving up their time this summer to learn, collaborate, and grow from working with this curriculum.

The anticipation is growing!!!

The decisions made by the writing team were incredibly purposeful. The curriculum tells a story. I’m so excited to see what they do next!

Written by Bridget Dunbar (@BridgetDunbar)

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Everyday Formative Assessment that Transforms Teaching and Learning – Beth Kobett

This presentation will engage participants in considering how everyday use of formative assessment, in-the-moment classroom-based assessment techniques (observations, interviews, Show Me, hinge questions, exit tasks), directly influence and empower teacher planning and instruction AND impact student achievement!
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Everyday-Formative-Assessment-that-Transforms-Teaching-and-Learning

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on Jun 6, 2017

Convergent or Divergent Problem Solving? – Jules Bonin-Ducharme

As a teacher, should you converge to a single solution at the end of a lesson or diverge to different thinking with each student? Is an open-middle a better approach to an open-ended type problem? Through activities, you will be able to compare differences and similarities between both strategies.
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Convergent-or-Divergent-Problem-Solving

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on Jun 6, 2017

Mathematical Modeling in School Mathematics: It’s about Knowing the Givens and the Chosens – Rose Mary Zbiek

Even if we give students the very best mathematical modeling problems, we are not necessarily teaching students to be good mathematical modelers. Mathematical modeling requires making choices, and teaching mathematical modeling requires knowing the choices to be made and teaching students how to be, well, choosy. We will make explicit the little and not so little things we can do every day to help students learn how to make choices that matter when modeling.
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Mathematical-Modeling-in-School-Mathematics

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on Jun 6, 2017

Targeting Math Discussions – Christine Newell

Number talks are powerful tools for building students’ mathematical thinking, fluency and discourse, but there’s more to them than just show and tell. Leverage your talks: analyze and use student strategies shared during number talks to plan and lead targeted follow-up discussions that reengage students in their mathematical thinking.
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Targeting-Math-Discussions

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on May 5, 2017

Research-based Strategies that Build Procedural Fluency – Jenny Bay-Williams

Procedural fluency is more than knowing facts and performing algorithms well! Recent research provides excellent insights into what we can do in our teaching to build procedural fluency (and conceptual understanding). This hour will focus on these instructional strategies, tools, and ideas.
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Building-Procedural-Fluency

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on May 5, 2017

Making the Most of Mistakes – Peg Cagle

We need to do more than normalize errors in our classrooms–we need to leverage them! Examine ways to capitalize on student mistakes to drive instruction, deepen homework and frame quizzes/tests as assessments of and as learning, leading to greater student agency and lower risk aversion.
Watch the full presentation at: https://www.bigmarker.com/GlobalMathDept/Making-the-Most-of-MIstakes

Sign up for the Global Math Department Newsletter at: http://globalmathdepartment.org

This presentation was recorded on May 5, 2017