If there were a textbook example of the potential for adult neural plasticity, I’d be Exhibit A. Learning math and then science as an adult gave me passage into the empowering world of engineering.

My doctoral training in systems engineering-tying together the big picture of different STEM disciplines-and then my later research and writing focusing on how humans think have helped me make sense of recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive psychology related to learning.

In the years since I received my doctorate, thousands of students have swept through my classrooms-students who have been reared in elementary school and high school to believe that understanding math through active discussion is the talisman of learning.

In the United States, the emphasis on understanding sometimes seems to have replaced rather than complemented older teaching methods that scientists are-and have been-telling us work with the brain’s natural process to learn complex subjects like math and science.

There is an interesting connection between learning math and science, and learning a sport.

I learned these things about math and the process of learning not in the K-12 classroom but in the course of my life, as a kid who grew up reading Madeleine L’Engle and Dostoyevsky, who went on to study language at one of the world’s leading language institutes, and then to make the dramatic shift to become a professor of engineering.

In my case, from my experience becoming fluent in Russian as an adult, I suspected-or maybe I just hoped-that there might be aspects to language learning that I might apply to learning in math and science.

As I look today at the shortage of science and math majors in this country, and our current trend in how we teach people to learn, and as I reflect on my own pathway, knowing what I know now about the brain, it occurs to me that we can do better.

## Summary of “100 Percent Is Overrated”

The idea of a fixed mindset, in which people are smart or not smart, stands in contrast to a growth mindset, in which people become intelligent and knowledgeable through practice.

In her 2006 book The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck described the two: People with growth mindsets believe that the harder they work, the smarter they get.

The group most damaged by fixed-mindset thinking is high-achieving girls, Boaler argues, because it’s girls who are told by society that they probably won’t be as good as boys at math and science.

Speaking of percentages, math is a good example of the importance of avoiding the fixed mindset.

The idea of a “Math person” or a math gene is a primary reason for so much math nihilism, math failure, and “Math trauma,” as Boaler called it on Monday.

When kids get the idea that they “Aren’t math people,” they start a downward trajectory, and their career options shrink immediately and substantially.

There is also the common idea of a wall in math: People learn math until they hit a wall where they just can’t keep up.

In no other discipline but math are people so given to thinking, instead of I need to practice, just Well, I’m not good.

## Summary of “If You’re Scared Of Math, Your Kids Might Be Too”

If You’re Scared Of Math, Your Kids Might Be Too A new study shows that creating an environment in which math is part of everyday life, can help kids do better in the subject.

One reason for a kid’s math anxiety? How their parents feel about the subject.

“A parent might say, ‘oh I’m not a math person, it’s okay if you’re not good at math either,'” Sian Beilock, cognitive scientist and President of Barnard College, says.

Families did this for a total of three years – while kids grew from first to third grade – because this is when kids tend to solidify their fear of math.

After a year of reading these stories, parents felt more confident in their children’s math potential and valued the importance of math skills more.

Now, after three years, when those students were tested on their math ability, they did just as well as the kids whose parents felt confident about math.

Using the app to read bedtime stories didn’t get rid of math anxiety – it was a way for families to normalize math at home and foster a relaxed dialogue around the subject.

Creating an environment in which math is part of everyday life won’t transform kids into overnight math sensations, but perhaps it can help kids realize math is a subject for curiosity, discussion and growth.

## Summary of “How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math”

If there were a textbook example of the potential for adult neural plasticity, I’d be Exhibit A. Learning math and then science as an adult gave me passage into the empowering world of engineering.

My doctoral training in systems engineering-tying together the big picture of different STEM disciplines-and then my later research and writing focusing on how humans think have helped me make sense of recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive psychology related to learning.

In the years since I received my doctorate, thousands of students have swept through my classrooms-students who have been reared in elementary school and high school to believe that understanding math through active discussion is the talisman of learning.

In the United States, the emphasis on understanding sometimes seems to have replaced rather than complemented older teaching methods that scientists are-and have been-telling us work with the brain’s natural process to learn complex subjects like math and science.

There is an interesting connection between learning math and science, and learning a sport.

I learned these things about math and the process of learning not in the K-12 classroom but in the course of my life, as a kid who grew up reading Madeleine L’Engle and Dostoyevsky, who went on to study language at one of the world’s leading language institutes, and then to make the dramatic shift to become a professor of engineering.

In my case, from my experience becoming fluent in Russian as an adult, I suspected-or maybe I just hoped-that there might be aspects to language learning that I might apply to learning in math and science.

As I look today at the shortage of science and math majors in this country, and our current trend in how we teach people to learn, and as I reflect on my own pathway, knowing what I know now about the brain, it occurs to me that we can do better.

## Summary of “Don’t Call Kids ‘Smart'”

“You can tell kids that they’ve done something fantastic, but don’t label them as smart.”

The idea of a fixed mindset, in which people are smart or not smart, stands in contrast to a growth mindset, in which people become intelligent and knowledgeable through practice.

The subtleties of the ways in which we praise kids are related to the mindsets those kids develop.

The group most damaged by fixed-mindset thinking is high-achieving girls, Boaler argues, because it’s girls who are told by society that they probably won’t be as good as boys at math and science.

Speaking of percentages, math is a good example of the importance of avoiding the fixed mindset.

The idea of a “Math person” or a math gene is a primary reason for so much math nihilism, math failure, and “Math trauma,” as Boaler called it on Monday.

When kids get the idea that they “Aren’t math people,” they start a downward trajectory, and their career options shrink immediately and substantially.

There is also the common idea of a wall in math: People learn math until they hit a wall where they just can’t keep up.

## Summary of “Improve Homework Time With These Concentration Hacks for Kids”

While the kids do their homework, do your own work of the non-digital variety-sorting through mail, signing papers, writing thank you notes, journaling, drafting that novel in your head or making your to-do list for the next day.

For longer stretches of study time, you might give your kid two or three “Complaining minute” tickets that they can use as needed.

While it’s nice to have a dedicated space for homework, your kids may absorb more material if they move around the house while studying.

Explains study coach Ana Mascara: “Let’s say you study for math in the kitchen, and then you study for math in the library, and then you study for math on the bus, the brain is going to be like, ‘Huh. She’s using these math formulas in a lot of different environments. Maybe these math formulas are crucial to Ana’s survival. Let us solidify these math formulas because hey, she’s using them everywhere, so they must be important, right?'” I know that when I write, being able to meander around the house helps me gain clarity-I often find new perspectives in new environments.

A study found that while performing a repetitive task, four- and six-year-olds who pretended to be a familiar character such as Batman persevered significantly longer than those who remained themselves.

Here’s a good one for kids who are little too old for the Batman thing.

Study after study links exercise with academic improvement.

Schedule a play break between the last school bell and homework time.

## Summary of “One machine to rule them all: A ‘Master Algorithm’ may emerge sooner than you think”

It’s excusable if you didn’t notice it when a scientist named Daniel J. Buehrer, a retired professor from the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan, published a white paper earlier this month proposing a new class of math that could lead to the birth of machine consciousness.

Which brings us back to Buehrer’s white paper proposing a new class of calculus.

The paper, titled “A Mathematical Framework for Superintelligent Machines,” proposes a new type of math, a class calculus that is “Expressive enough to describe and improve its own learning process.”

If the class calculus theory is correct, that human and machine intelligence involve the same algorithm, then it is only less than a year for the theory to be testable in the OpenAI gym.

The loops of these graphs are eliminated by replacing each by a single “Equivalence class” node.

The creation of a self-teaching class of calculus that could learn from any number of connected AI agents – basically a CEO for all artificially intelligent machines – would theoretically grow exponentially more intelligent every time any of the various learning systems it controls were updated.

Allowing machines to modify their own model of the world and themselves may create “Conscious” machines, where the measure of consciousness may be taken to be the number of uses of feedback loops between a class calculus’s model of the world and the results of what its robots actually caused to happen in the world.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to simply outright dismiss those machine learning theories that blur the line between science and fiction.

## Summary of “How to Become World-Class at Anything”

To be passionate about something, we need to have some level of competence or mastery.

I know, from long experience, that if I want to get good at anything, I have to decide, with a strong determination, to apply myself to developing a seed of mastery in it.

Rather than sitting around waiting to die so that we can be reincarnated as Asian children, we can proactively bootstrap the process of learning and mastery any time we want.

We can use the planning and abstract thinking faculties of our highly evolved neocortices to trick our less evolved parts, such as our important emotional system, into coming along with us on the path to mastery.

Practice for a minimum amount of time each daySetting a lower limit on the amount of time you will spend on mastering a given skill helps you to quickly bootstrap enough competence that it will become self-sustaining.

Your positive attitude towards that seed of mastery will nourish it and it will grow, blossom, and transform into full-blown, world-class mastery.

In the process, we are bootstrapping the pathway to mastery by acting “As if” we are already masters.

We engage with the process, at whatever level of mastery we have attained, as a master would.

## Summary of “What Would Happen If There Were No Number 6?”

What if there were no number 6? – Isaac R., age 5 1/2. “There are things where you just stand there and you’re like, ‘At this point, am I teaching math or am I teaching philosophy?'” said Jordan Ellenberg, whose titles at the University of Wisconsin suggest that he is meant to be teaching math.

What would happen if 6 vanished overnight? At least some of the other numbers would also cease to exist.

If there’s no 6, said Caroline Turnage-Butterbaugh, a math professor at Duke University, then there can’t be a 7, 8 or 9 – or, really, any number greater than 5.

Losing 6 would affect far more than just numbers, since numbers pervade so many things.

As long as 6 still exists as a fundamental concept, we can choose many different ways of naming, counting and thinking about that number.

The ancient Babylonians had a mathematical system based on the number 60, which was possibly an outgrowth of choosing to count using the 12 knuckles on four fingers of one hand, rather than counting each finger on both hands to get to 10.

A normal clock is using 12 as its modulus – the number the modular arithmetic counting system wraps around.

So we can use modular arithmetic to remove 6 – or any other number – from the world whenever we want to, at least in a limited sort of way.

## Summary of “The Supreme Court Is Allergic To Math”

For decades, the court has struggled with quantitative evidence of all kinds in a wide variety of cases.

Justice Stephen Breyer said, “I think the hard issue in this case is are there standards manageable by a court, not by some group of social science political ex you know, computer experts? I understand that, and I am quite sympathetic to that.”

Roberts later added, “Predicting on the basis of the statistics that are before us has been a very hazardous enterprise.” FiveThirtyEight will apparently not be arguing any cases before the Supreme Court anytime soon.

In 1897, before he had taken his seat on the Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes delivered a famous speech at Boston University, advocating for empiricism over traditionalism: “For the rational study of the law the man of the future is the man of statistics and the master of economics. It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV.” If we hadn’t made much progress in the 500 years between Henry IV and Holmes, neither have we made much progress in the 120 years between Holmes and today.

“It’s one thing for the court to consider quantitative evidence and dismiss it based on its merits” – which could still happen here, as Republicans involved in the Wisconsin case have criticized the efficiency gap method – “But we see a troubling pattern whereby evidence is dismissed based on sweeping statements, gut reactions and logical fallacies,” Ryan Enos, a political scientist at Harvard, told me.

Another instance of judicial innumeracy: the Supreme Court’s decision on a Fourth Amendment case about federal searches and seizures called Elkins v. United States in 1960.

The Supreme Court didn’t care and ultimately struck down the provision.

“I don’t put much stock in the claim that the Supreme Court is afraid of adjudicating partisan gerrymanders because it’s afraid of math,” Daniel Hemel, who teaches law at the University of Chicago, told me.