When NASA astronauts first walked on the moon in 1969, eight-year-old Pamela Melroy was watching. Very few people who saw the Eagle land have forgotten the sight, but for Pam, the experience was more than awe-inspiring-it changed the course of her life.
This provocative question has become
the standard opening gambit in my math teaching. Students’ responses
include: climate change, terrorism, HIV/AIDS, Asian flu, energy dependence,
over population, animal extinctions and pollution. I go on to explain
that a major goal of our math course will be to see how mathematics
can be used to address these important societal issues. All to often,
mathematics courses focus exclusively on the mathematical content
without making linkages to such larger issues.