Clipped From Santa Cruz Sentinel
i Joseph Merkel Attends UC Mathematics Institute A new look at mathematics. Joseph Merkel, seventh and eighth grade math teacher at Branciforte junior high school was one of 50 teachers and educators across the U.S. to complete a seven weeks summer mathematics institute recently at the University of California. The National Science foundation screened out, selected and paid these people $1000 each for use of their brains in applying advancements of the sciences to school curriculums. Called "The Changing Curriculum in a Changing World," here are some of their ideas: Knowledge is doubled every 20 years and new uses are being found for mathematics. In the last decade, application of math techniques has become more useful to biologists; but a truly virgin territory for discovering problems to be formalized mathematically is the field of the social sciences. Adequate models for human behavior that can be formalized and methods for observing phenomena that can be characterized and structured have not been developed. . Students interested in making contributions in math need a tremendous sophistication in math before going to college. The study of deductive algebra, set theory, functions and relation- I '" Joseph Merkel ships, with great emphasis on word power and definitions, will be a great asset to the college-bound student. Universities want math students with greater intuitive knowledge. Foreign students are able to take college physics based on differential equations in their freshman year. Our students delay thi suntil the sophomore year. It's recommended that some concept of calculus should be incorporated in high school senior math. With the development of highly efficient and complex computer systems many persons falsely conclude that math is on the way out. Every step, every contingency must be spelled out for the computer. When Dr. A. Hogget of the school of business administration, University of California, was asked what he would consider the minimum requirements for a sound math program he said: "Let's not talk in terms of minimum requirement force all the math you can and when the student opens his mouth to scream, shove in some more." The U.S. high school population of 1958 was little over 10,-500,000. Of this number, about 52 per cent were enrolled in math. Math teachers in this study group said less than 10 per cent were mathematically talented.