Document Type

Book Review


Mathematics (Pomona)

Publication Date



real world, math anxiety, perceptions of math


I was delighted to have the opportunity to review three books on a topic near and dear to my heart. In recent years it has become a passion of mine to think of and speak about the place of mathematics in the real world, in the world of those who are not doing mathematics for a living. I care about the applications and the implications of mathematics, but more than that, I care about the feelings and the impressions attached to it. Often math anxiety or skepticism comes up; the latter may be due to how frequently others (mis)use statistics, but the former is often directly related to the way we (mathematicians and math teachers) teach math (see for instance Jo Boaler’s classic What’s Math Got to Do with It?). However, besides the troubles with our pedagogy, I think we as a community help perpetuate several myths about mathematics and reap and enjoy the fruits of our specialness.


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© 2016 Gizem Karaali