Does Math Matter?

35:35 minutes

Does math really teach you how to think, or is that just what teachers tell you so you’ll study your integrals? In this live interview from the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ira asks mathematicians and educators Jo Boaler, Steve Strogatz, and Jordan Ellenberg if there’s a better way to learn math, and whether it might be time to revamp the age-old curriculum.

Segment Guests

Jo Boaler

Jo Boaler is the co-founder of YouCubed.org and author of What’s Math Got To Do With It? (Penguin, 2015). She’s also a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

Steven Strogatz

Steven Strogatz is the author of Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019) and The Joy of X (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) and a math professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Jordan Ellenberg

Jordan Ellenberg is the author of How Not to Be Wrong (Penguin Press, 2014). He is also the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics
at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.