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Mathematics, Mathematicians, and Mathematics Education


"While university teaching is
a substantial part of the academic mathematician's professional life, recent years have seen many research mathematicians involved in school mathematics education
as well. There has been much attention to the so-called "math wars", an unfortunate
term coined in the U.S. to describe the conflicts between mathematicians and
educators over the content, goals, and pedagogy of the curriculum. Although these
"wars" attracted a great deal of attention, the involvement of mathematicians has
a much longer history in our profession. And most of that history is not primarily
a history of conflict. In what follows, I will offer some snapshots from that history
to provide a more robust picture of our tradition of concern for pre-college
mathematics education. That tradition is both edifying and inspiring."