## Review: MathNotations blog

Last November I proposed to exchange blog reviews with other Math bloggers as a way to get our blogs a wider audience. In that same post I threatened to review the blogs I like if I got no takers. Well, I've gotten no takers to date and I'm making good on my threat of reviewing blogs I like.

I really like Dave Marain's MathNotations blog. I've been following it for a few months and had the pleasure this morning of conversing with Dave over the phone. Dave shared with me that he's been involved in mathematics research and in Math education for many, many years. Dave loves Math tremendously and he's particularly interested in guiding students in mathematical investigations. Investigations are also a particular interest of mine as I'd rather guide a student to learning something neat and let him or her make the discovery than merely try to insert information into the student's brain.

Dave has 24 blog posts tagged as "investigation". These investigations are suitable for high school students and some for middle school students. Some of the recent investigations that caught my attention are:

- An Introduction to the Mathematics of Bingo - Part I: An Investigation for Grades 7-12
- Does doubling an integer double the number of factors? A Deeper Investigation for Middle School
- Just Another Square Problem? A Means to an End...
- Circles, Chords, Tangents, Similar Triangles and that Ubiquitous 3-4-5 Triangle

It's quite nice to see a skilled mathematician produce great explorations for middle school and high school kids. I personally am grateful for Dave's contribution to advancing the Math education of our children.

In October, Dave scored a great coup; he got an interview with Alec Klein, author of "A Class Apart". The book is about the students of Stuyvesant High School in New York City, about the challenges of being admitted (tougher than Harvard), their trials and tribulations, their drive to achieve, and their emotional struggles in an elite school. Dave's great interview is in two parts: Part I and Part II. I grew up in New York City and attended one of the other elite public high schools there, the Bronx High School of Science, so the subject of this book is very close to my heart.

Dave also shares his love of Math with this post that deserves everyone's attention: A New Year's Resolution: Paying Tribute to our Favorite Math Teacher(s). I left a comment on that post honoring three very memorable Math teachers that influenced and even shaped my attitude towards mathematics. I closed my comment with this statement:

Thanks, Dave, for getting me to reminisce about something much more important than how my blog has done in 2007.

MathNotations greets readers with this message:

Look for fully developed math investigations that are more than one inch deep, math challenges, Problems of the Day and standardized test practice. The emphasis will always be on developing conceptual understanding in mathematics. There will also be dialogue on issues in mathematics education with a focus on standards, assessment, and pedagogy primarily at the 7-12 level through AP Calculus.

Dave certainly delivers on his promise. I'm proud to count MathNotations as one of my very favorite Math blogs. Spend some time on the blog and maybe it will become one of your favorites too.

Dave MarainJanuary 8th, 2008 - 17:47

Thank you, Sol! It is deeply appreciated and I plan on reviewing your excellent blog as well, particularly your now legendary post about impressing your friends with mental math tricks.

Dave Marain