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Martin Gardner Survey

Martin Gardner Survey

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Published by Avtandil Kamkhadze

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Published by: Avtandil Kamkhadze on Jan 03, 2012
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Survey of MathematicalProblems
Student Guide
Harold P. Boas and Susan C. Geller 
Texas A&M University
August 2003Copyrightc
1995–2003 by Harold P. Boas and Susan C. Geller. All rightsreserved.
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anythingabout it. Mark TwainCollege mathematics instructors commonly complain that their studentsare poorly prepared. It is often suggested that this is a corollary of the stu-dents’ high school teachers being poorly prepared. International studies lendcredence to the notion that our hard-working American school teachers wouldbe more effective if their mathematical understanding and appreciation wereenhanced and if they were empowered with creative teaching tools.At Texas A&M University, we decided to stop talking about the problemand to start doing something about it. We have been developing a Master’sprogram targeted at current and prospective teachers of mathematics at thesecondary school level or higher.This course is a core part of the program. Our aim in the course is notto impart any specific body of knowledge, but rather to foster the students’understanding of what mathematics is all about. The goals are:
to increase students’ mathematical knowledge and skills;
to expose students to the breadth of mathematics and to many of itsinteresting problems and applications;
to encourage students to have fun with mathematics;
to exhibit the unity of diverse mathematical fields;
to promote students’ creativity;
to increase students’ competence with open-ended questions, with ques-tions whose answers are not known, and with ill-posed questions;iii

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