Nov 17, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. -
"The Best Writing on Mathematics 2011" is the second volume in a series lauded as the first annual anthology published on mathematics writing. It presents a collection of texts selected as the finest mathematics writing published during 2010 in journals from several countries. The book delves into the history, philosophy, teaching and everyday occurrences of math, and offers insights into the nature, meaning and practice of mathematics today.
“[The book] reflects the literature on mathematics available out there in myriad publications, some difficult to consult even for people who have access to exceptional academic resources,” writes editor Mircea Pitici, a PhD candidate in mathematics education at Cornell University, who teaches at Cornell and Ithaca College. “I see my task as a restitution to the public, in convenient form, of excellent writing on mathematics that deserves enhanced reception beyond the initial publication.”
Contributing authors explore topics ranging from the mathematical inspirations of M.C. Escher’s art to the use of algorithms in the job market. Su’s contribution “asks what makes a learner become an inquirer—and further, a discoverer—and offers refreshing answers, contradicting some of the widely held assumptions concerning the effectiveness of instructional approaches in secondary and undergraduate mathematics,” writes Pitici in the book’s introduction.
Entitled, “Teaching Research: Encouraging Discoveries,” Su’s article originally appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly, considered the most widely read journal in mathematics. It was based on an invited plenary lecture Su gave at the 2006 MathFest, an annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America.
“In the paper, I described lessons I’ve learned on how to do research with undergraduates, and more generally, how to encourage enthusiasm for mathematics,” Su said. “I’m honored my work was included in this anthology with that of writers I’ve admired for many years.”
Su’s article begins on page 203 of "The Best Writing on Mathematics 2011," which also includes a foreword by esteemed physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger