On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Aspen Ideas Festival: Is math important?

Share story

Steven Strogatz
Steven Strogatz is a mathematician and professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. He was one of many panelists who spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Thursday, June 30, 2015.
Courtesy Ricky Savi | Aspen Ideas Festival

At the Aspen Ideas Festival they posed an interesting question: Is math important? Teachers in some other countries think kids need more understanding of math fundamentals instead of the high-falutin' stuff.  Which kinds of math are actually important to know? and why?? 

Pt 1: Jo Boaler is a professor of math education at Stanford University. David Coleman is president of the College Board. Elizabeth Green is author "Building a Better Teacher." Steven Strogatz is an applied mathematics professor at Cornell University.  Pt 2: University of Wisconsin math professor Jordan Ellenberg, economist Steven Rattner,  and Pamela Fox, a computing curriculum engineer at Khan Academy. David Leonhardt, moderator.