Make sure to read my other posts on The Three R's:
The Three R's
Reading Comprehension Test
C.S. Lewis on "Literary" and "Unliterary" Reading
A Few Samples of Past Writings
Prologue to the Story I'm Writing
'Rithmetic - the last of the Three R's, and probably my favorite. As I mentioned in my first post on The Three R's, I really think it would be more parallel to list mathematics with reading and writing, but I'll try not to be too picky :).
I'm guessing that most if not all people reading this post know by now that math is a major part of my life. It may have something to do with the fact that I was raised in a heavily math environment - just a hunch ;). My dad has taught high school (and some college) math for close to 20 years, my mom and I both teach math to homeschoolers, and I also tutor math to a number of public school students. Brother Dear and Sister Dear are also very gifted in math (in fact, both scored higher than me on the math portion of the SAT), though they use it less on a daily basis than Mother Dear, Father Dear, and I do. Especially given the growing problem of innumeracy in our nation, I'm very thankful for the mathematical background that I have :).
I've already blogged quite a bit about math, so I'll try not to muse too long in this post, instead just give a brief overview of some of the antics of my math family.
You see, when it came to liking math, I really didn't have a choice in the matter ;). My parents gave me bedtime math problems growing up. We also played a lot of math games like Muggins, or games that encouraged quick mental arithmetic, like Yahtzee, and we watched math-oriented TV shows like Square One TV. It has been rumored that we sometimes debate the coolest number, but there is little evidence for that ;). We do make sure to celebrate an important mathematical holiday every year, and note the mathematical significance of ages and license plates. I admittedly enjoy doing problem-solving exercises just for fun, and I'm not above occasionally participating in a mathematical duel. And yes, I occasionally have random mathematical thoughts, I admit, but if someone tells you that I purposely bordered a quilt with golden rectangles, don't believe them, and if someone refers to my family as those weird math people, it's a gross exaggeration! Okay, okay, on occasion my family does enjoy giving mathematically-themed gifts, and completing mathematical color-by-numbers. And even Brother Dear has written some clever mathematical sweet-nothings that are sure to win any girl's heart.
Hmm, maybe we are a bit abnormal. . . or just special :-D.
Oh, oh, in related news, we recently acquired a slide rule, so I'm going to play around with that this summer :). Yay!
To tie this post into my previous post on reading, I really must recommend an excellent book that relates to mathematics. It's not a textbook, but a juvenile biography on Nathaniel Bowditch. If you haven't already, you really need to read Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham! It's an excellent true story of a child with a hunger for knowledge and a strong self-determination to excel, even though that often meant teaching himself. Forced to leave school at a young age, he continued his education on his own, and managed to teach himself French and Latin, in addition to excelling in the sciences of navigation and mathematics. He was instrumental in the improvement of many aspects of navigation, through his knowledge of mathematics. Nat Bowditch's advancements in navigation were instrumental in the popularization of "book sailing," or sailing by mathematical charts and tables. If you want to know why precision in mathematics is so important, you need to read this book!
Okay, I'm almost done, but I cannot close this post on math without sharing with all of you my absolute favorite mathematical proof:
Theorem: All positive integers are interesting.
Proof: Assume the contrary. Then by the well-ordering principle, there is a lowest non-interesting positive integer. But, hey, that's pretty interesting! A contradiction. QED