Profitable Careers in Mathematics

BMO FinancialIn spite of the mathematics decline in schools across America in recent years, being a high school mathematics teacher sometimes keeps me distracted from what else is going on in the workforce. Friends like to joke with me and say, “Those who can’t do, teach,” and sometimes I take this to heart a little too much. But regardless of my own personal experiences with my mathematical knowledge, there are other attractive job opportunities on the market where attaining a math degree can be very rewarding more so now than before. I will present some of them here in hopes to motivate those who are still sitting on the fence about what career to pursue based upon the benefits of arithmetic.

I suppose it would only be appropriate for me to begin with the field of mathematics. Such professions in computer services, banking, insurance, education and industry will all branch out from the formidable tree of math if you obtain a college major in it. For those starting out in these careers, the median starting salary is placed around $47,000 annually. If you continue on to the mid-career stage then a salary of $97,600 per year is not out of reach. That doesn’t sound too shabby if I do say so myself. [Read more...]

The Decline of Math in US Schools

MathOver my career as a high school math educator I have literally seen the interest and drive from students to excel in mathematics come to a serious decline. When I say decline I’m not just talking about a very slow and gradual process but rather one that has practically arrived over night. I wasn’t very surprised when I learned that schools across America soon began to minimize math standards to where they had never been before.

I can still recall when I was quite younger and teaching in the late 1990s there were many occasions when students would work up the nerve to ask me why they even needed to learn a lot of the content I was teaching them. Algebra and the Pythagorean Theorem were two of the most common subjects that would trigger such questions. I would always reply with the same answer and tell them that they needed to learn these areas of math because they would use them some day. I could tell that my response was only effective about half of the time. But here and now two decades later, I’m getting this inquiry almost on a weekly to monthly basis and I’m running out of convincing explanations.

So why exactly is this all going on then? What is causing it? There is no doubting that it is happening right now. When an international look at the competitiveness of mathematics was conducted, the results found that America has now been grouped somewhere in the middle of the bundle when it comes to not only mathematics, but science and technology as well. Students from nations such as China and South Korea have picked up the ball where America has dropped it. A separate international study was also carried out when 150 000 people aged 16 through 65 were questioned in 24 different nations. The results for our country here in the U.S. were absolutely embarrassing to say the least. We used to be one of the global leaders in technology and innovation but now we’ve more than lost our edge. [Read more...]

Careers That Use Math Everyday

AstronomyHello again, it’s everyone’s favorite middle-aged high school math teacher, me. Okay, I’m kidding obviously but I do hope you are getting something out of my little math-related blogs that I get to make available from time to time. I’m an educator and most importantly I just want people to learn, regardless of their age.

Right now I want to talk a little more about the importance of mathematics and how it can be applied to everyday life – especially from the career aspect. Despite how many have adverse feelings about arithmetic, I would like to encourage those that enjoy it to really grasp and understand what options they have available to them. When you take this subject as seriously as I do, you may very well be surprised at what potential jobs are available out there on the market. The economy certainly can’t be trusted to self-correct any time soon, so if you feel that you have a genuine love and strength in mathematics then you should take the remainder of this article to learn and reflect upon what future options might be accessible to you.

I first want to zero in on some of the professions that require the more vigorous and advanced mathematical capabilities. Even for those that have limited imaginations, it should be uncomplicated to assume that office and classroom-oriented careers such as mathematicians, physicists, drafters, accountants, cost estimators and professors will fall into this classification. [Read more...]

Seeing Fractals Everywhere

For a lot of people, math is not something which they see or which affects them on a daily basis. The truth is that math is intrinsic in nature. Math is everywhere, if you just know where to look. Then again, if you see the patterns on a daily basis, it gets to be part of the background, and just a lot of white noise.

For instance, the concept of randomness is not easily explained. A study was made where people were shown two pictures of supposed rain splatter patter. One picture had evenly spaced dots, and the other picture showed wildly varying dots and distances. Most people thought that the evenly spaced dots was the real rain pattern. In truth, randomness, has more variances in distance between dots, as well as dot sizes.

Take, for instance, pressure washers. The force of the washer and the pattern of the flow could be expressed in terms of equations. However, there is no easy way to know all the variables to describe the water forced out of the pressure washer. This is one instance when the math is transparent, or invisible. The results would only be seen in terms of words which are understandable. You can read electric pressure washer reviews and you would understand the words but not know the math. The only way to know what the best electric pressure washer would be is to limit your variables to what is necessary for your needs.

Like most things in life, keeping things simple would be the best way to understand some things. It would also help to limit the available choices. Going back to the pressure washer example above, when it comes to choosing from a wide variety of items, you have to know the main use. You don’t need to have a 3,000 PSI washer, if you’re only going to wash your car. Using a high-pressure washer might damage the car’s paint job. You only need a 1,500 PSI pressure washer in order to clean your car thoroughly and fast.

There may be other variables which you would want to consider when buying a pressure washer. These all depend on what the job is. There are pressure washers which work well for roofs, house sidings, boats, and boardwalks. Understanding the need would make the job of choosing something that much easier.

Of course, there are other variables which may not be related to the job. These are secondary considerations of variables which you would consider because they matter. Some of these things include noise level, hose length, materials used, power requirements, type of pressure washers, etc. These secondary considerations may not have any performance impact, but in the long run, these may turn out to be the most important. A case in point was the Concorde, supersonic airliner. It was a beautiful plane which performed its brief beautifully. Unfortunately, there was concern about sonic boom, and this limited the areas where it could fly supersonic. This made airlines think twice about buying the plane.

It’s Time for the Math Quiz Bee!

Setting up the annual math quiz contest is no joke. It takes about 20 teachers to prepare for this event. Oftentimes, we start preparation for the contest as soon as the last one is concluded. Planning the questions, testing the equations and solving for the solutions takes some time – especially since the answers are open to protest. Like any good quiz contest, the list of the panel of judges must also be put together carefully in order to come up with an impressive line up. It takes several months to get an acceptance and commitment from these math luminaries.

Most of them are professors from different universities and half the time, we have to fly them here and book them at a hotel or prepare a suitable apartment for them within the campus. It’s hard work yes but it is always worth it in the end.

Part of the planning committee’s responsibilities is designing the banner and advertising materials for the math quiz contest. We also try to do this in advance in order to get the designs approved by the other committees. Every year too, we make it a point to design an official t-shirt in several colors. The colors are what tells the different committees apart from one another: there’s black for the stage and technical crew; white for the advertising and promotions; red for logistics and so on and so forth. For the core people, we also have our names printed at the back of our shirts in order to make it easier for people to fins us during the event itself.

For our custom t shirts, we’ve always relied on www.wordans.co.uk. We’ve always loved the quality of their shirts and their prompt service. At times, we ask them to deliver the shirts right to our office as we are very busy with preparations to take the time to drive outside. We just send them the specifics of our orders (size, color, names to be printed) and they deliver without any hassle. This company has been our first choice for many years now and we don’t think that will change in the years to come. They’re as much a part of the annual math quiz contest as the school mascot.

Reasons Why Teachers are Highly Vulnerable to Varicose Veins

Teaching is indeed a rewarding job. It may not be as high paying as many other jobs out there, but it can be very fulfilling. Sadly, teachers are exposed to potential health risks due to the nature of their job. One of these problems is varicose veins. Studies have shown that lots of teachers have varicose veins or have complained about leg pains. This is true especially for those who have been teaching for a long time now.

Acquiring Varicose Veins

There are many ways in which teachers deliver their lessons. They might just opt to sit down while discussing the lesson. However, their delivery will be more effective when they stand up and talk with conviction. Standing for at least an hour a day is fine. However, teachers have to teach for several hours a day. During this time, they have to move stand up. If this is done on a daily basis, imagine what could happen to their legs since they carry the entire body weight.

Aside from standing for a long time, female teachers also wear high heels. This adds up to the burden on their legs. This is why over time; varicose veins have started to develop. Since it is the nature of their job to stand up and wear heels to look formal, teachers are really susceptible to varicose veins.

What Needs to be Done

In order to solve the problem, the best thing to do is to arrange the lesson in such a way that there is no need to stand all the time. If it is inevitable to stand over a long time, the teacher should walk and move the legs so that blood flow will continue. After the class, it is important to take the entire break to sit down and not do anything stressful. For female teachers, it is encouraged that ordinary slippers or flat shoes be used when not in the class. When required to wear shoes with heels, just go for a pair with 2-3 inches of heels. This will lessen the pressure on the legs.

Varicose Veins Treatment

If the problem has gotten worse, the best possible way to deal with the problem is to go for sclerotherapy. This is a modern method in which chemicals are injected into the affected areas so that the varicose veins won’t be too visible anymore. You might also go for laser surgery in which the affected areas will be treated with laser so they will even out. Phlebectomy is also another option for worst cases. Small incisions are made to remove the veins that are affected. It takes time to recover from this surgery, but it works.

If you are one of those who suffer from varicose veins, you need to seek for help now. If you need to find the best Pittsburgh varicose vein treatments available, check this out. On the other hand, if you are searching for varicose vein treatment in Phoenix, visit http://www.presantvein.com/varicose-vein-treatment.htm .

A New Way of Teaching

We live in a digital world these days and that’s the way most schools are going. I can remember using a blackboard and chalk to get my point across, now its computers and tablets and digital presentations.  For some of the old-school teachers it can be a bit difficult to get to grips with some of these things but I found a number of mobile apps that can make lessons easier to teach and more fun – and fun is something we all need in our lives!

  • Apps for Screen Casting

Presentations are an important part of teaching, even Math and there are some pretty good apps that let you create video presentations. Your students can create their own videos as well and many of these apps work together.

  • Apps for Note Taking

We all hate taking notes. By the end of the lesson your handwriting is complete unreadable, you’ve lost all feeling in your hand and your brain is numb.  There are a number of note taking apps that make the job a doddle, leaving your students more time to concentrate on the lesson.

  • Apps for Cloud Storage

It’s the done thing. No one keeps their files on their computers or in a filing cabinet any more, it’s all put in the cloud.  This is a good thing for teachers who use computers in their classes – it means lessons are easily accessible by everyone and your files are completely backed up. Students can submit their homework online now, no need for carrying heavy books or complaining that the dog ate their homework!  If your school doesn’t have access to cloud storage, suggest they contact this company

  • Apps for Presentation

These are different to the screen casting apps. These make it easy for a teacher to give a professional presentation, whether it is to a class of students or to a room full of school governors. 

  • Apps for Classroom Management

There are plenty of apps that will help you to organize your classroom. Classroom management apps let you arrange seating, picking students to do specific tasks, etc. There are also the more advanced ones that work if you and your students all use mobile devices to work on as they help you to synchronize them all and work together more effectively.

Gearing up for Math Con in Rio!


It isn’t only students and young professionals who look forward to conventions. There’s the Star Trek convention as well as the ever popular comicon (short for comics convention) which draw in millions of fans every year. It’s as much a circus as a grand arena filled with people clad in colorful and ostentatious costumes. The funny thing is people really look forward to these events. Some even prepare their costumes for next year as soon as the comicon event concludes.

In the math world, there is also such a thing as a Math convention. It’s not as colorful or as well-attended and covered by the media, but for us participants, it’s certainly something to look forward to. Personally, I’ve only attended a few such events because of budget and time constraints. Having children means I cannot travel abroad as much as I wanted to. Being a teacher also means filling in for other duties in the school such as chaperoning during proms and other school events.

Anyway, I’m all excited about this year’s math convention because it’s going to be held in Brazil. It’s a country that I had visited in one of my South America tours when I was still in college. The country is very popular this year because of the World Cup competitions. While I am not a fan of the sport, the idea of witnessing the grand carnivals in Rio is enough to make me all worked up. It’s something fun, magical and breathtaking. For a moment there, you can forget that you are a mousy math teacher and just join in the fun and the dancing.

The best par about it is that I’ll be traveling with my co teachers. Imagine mathcon to be something like a camp for teachers. There are games, quiz bees, cooking competitions as well as battle of the bands. Yes, there will be a soccer match too since it will be taking place in Brazil. This year’s math convention promises to be an all-out extravaganza to help math teachers gain more confidence and break stereotypes. I can’t wait to get there!

Loving Numbers But Losing My Eyesight

Beethoven is considered as one of the greatest classical musicians and composers ever. What made him really stand out among the greats is his composition of his latter symphonies without the use of his hearing. In a way, he saw music as he wrote it down for others to listen and appreciate. As a person who loves numbers and math, yet with failing eyesight, I know how that must feel, that you are doing your work without the use of one of the most important faculties needed in your job. In my case, I can write down the equations, but I would have to squint my eyes when I review them.

Checking and Grading Papers

A lot of people think that because I am a math teacher, my life is a lot easier. True, I do not have to read long essays but checking test papers wherein students have to show their solutions before arriving at the final answer is also difficult. You know how illegible some students write and this is one of the reasons that I have really resorted to the use of a magnifying lens whenever I check papers. This is inconvenient and slows down my process of grading and checking papers.

I’ve been teaching for a long time now and I started when grades had to be entered manually onto a ledger. I’ve also prepared lesson plans and created exams when a typewriter was considered the modern piece of equipment. Most of the time I wrote by hand, also wrote on the blackboard by hand until my hands ached and I could no longer breathe because of the chalk allergy. I have sacrificed the best part of my years to teach math to young students. You know what? I have loved every minute of it. Teachers were created to be selfless and giving – until everything starts to fail: your eyes, your back, your hands and so on.

After many years of doing things the old way, I had decided to do something good for myself. Two things actually. The first was getting a powerful laptop and learning how to do my lessons there. The second was consulting a very good ophthalmologist in Austin and listening to what he had to say about my eyes. It wasn’t very good, but I wasn’t a hopeless case either. I made a firm decision to do what was best for my eyes. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my years teaching and I won’t be able to do that if I don’t go to a center for Lasik in Austin Texas and get surgery for my eyes.

My friends and family were very supportive of my decision and even organized a small pre-surgery party. I am happy to say that the procedure went quickly and with hardly any discomfort. It has been six months and I have never seen more clearly. There’s no discomfort of wearing contact lenses or the awkward and clumsy eyeglasses that keep slipping down your nose.

The only ones who are not 100 percent happy are my students. I can see them chatting all the way down the back of the class and I can also easily check if they skipped a step in the problem solving exam I gave.

Connecting to Everyday Life: Enhancing Mathematics in the Classroom

Mathematics is one of the hardest subjects to teach in basic education – not because of its content, but because of the challenge of making it meaningful to students. As a subject that is synonymous with numbers or formulas written on the board or in a textbook, students don't have much opportunity to connect them to their everyday realities. This is the reason why, as math teachers, it is important to demonstrate that Math is not an abstract field to be scared of, but rather a fascinating subject that is useful and can be applied to various aspects of daily life!

Because the value of Math goes beyond just reading and solving problems within the classroom, here are a few tips that you should have in mind so that you and your students can both learn from the experience of connecting it to the real world:

• Instead of using textbook-based problems that are disconnected with the students' experience, tickle their mind with real life problems that require useful skills outside the classroom. For example, you can make them financially-savvy by asking them to compute profit from a bakery sale nearby or having them project their savings for the week or the month using a calculator and their allowance.

• It is great if you can incorporate fun into your lessons by employing activities that break the typical and boring routine of lecture and answer. One good idea is to integrate your lesson with other subjects, such as connecting the day's weather with computing temperature conversions. If you want to add a little twist, make it a fun game and add a time-limit to make the students think fast while enjoying themselves.

• The sky is the limit when choosing which aspects of reality you want your students to explore using numbers and formulas! Sometimes, it need not be something that everyone is familiar with. Give them possible scenarios such as the following: as a salesman of a reputable cargo container sales company with a client shipping toys worldwide, compute how many toys can fit into a ten-feet cargo container and how much your client can save.

These are just a few tips for aspiring math teachers who want to make a difference in the classroom. It would also help if you and your students utilize the Internet in searching for ideas that will make learning math easier and more pleasurable. To make it even more challenging, visit sites such as Cargo Container Sales and try to connect it to your lesson plan in the most coherent way possible.

Some Thoughts on Teaching

I’ve been teaching Math for over eight years now, and I can definitely say that it will ALWAYS be hard to make one’s students understand mathematical concepts. Still, even though this is the case, those who teach the subject have no right to not give it their best when teaching. This is why I make use of all the appropriate learning resources and teaching aids when I teach Math. Thankfully, my hard work pays off. My students are really doing great in class. The best part for me, however, is meeting my students sometime after they pass my class and then finding out that they never forgot the lessons I taught them. It’s really heart-warming.

One of the ways I teach my students mathematical concepts is by applying them to real life settings. For one, there are times when I’d talk about how even the smallest of things can affect the value of real estate. By showing them actual price fluctuations, I get to make them realize how some mathematical concepts are applied in important life situations.

There are times when I actually use an example from my own life. About a year ago, I had a roofing problem in one of my properties in Toronto. Unfortunately, I was looking to sell this property of mine. Thankfully, though, I found a roofing Toronto company (check their company website here) that was willing to offer its services at a very affordable price. Through the help of their certified contractors, I was able to deal with my roofing problem really fast. The best part was that the value of my property increased even more than I expected because of their work! It ended up being more valuable than it originally was. Considering how I didn’t spend a lot of money on the services of the company, I can definitely say that it was a boon. By telling this story to my students, they were able to realize why it’s important to learn Math, as well as see certain mathematical concepts in action.

Whenever I meet someone who has given up on their students in Math class, I always tell them about my work. I don’t get preachy or antagonistic, I just tell them my opinions on education in a factual manner. Thankfully, I have been able to convince a number of them to change their views and become more serious at teaching Math. These people ended up thanking me later; they found satisfiction in getting most of their students to learn hard mathematical concepts.

Hopefully, you’ll pick up something from this post of mine. You don’t have to be a Math teacher yourself in order to apply what I said here. Whether you’re a History teacher, a PE teacher, or even a company trainer or something, you really would do well to not ignore the poor progress of any single person in the “class” you’re teaching. As a teacher, it is your duty to really do your best in teaching your students. No excuses – remember this. You don’t exactly have to go telling stories about professional roofers (click here if you want to know more about the professional roofers I got help from) like I do; you can do something else, so long as it is effective at getting your point across.

The Importance of Owning Plastic Cards for Teachers

Plastic cards might commonly be used for businesses and groups. However, even individuals can maximize the use of plastic cards. In fact, if you are into teaching, you will definitely make the most out of these plastic cards. Here are some of the benefits that you might want to consider:

• These cards may be used to liaise with partner universities or other teachers in the locality. Instead of giving them the usual paper business card, plastic cards will actually stand out and is more durable. Therefore, if you need to be contacted, they can easily locate your contact information.

• When you are sent to another place to supervise your students in a competition, you can use the plastic cards as name tags for your bags. You can also create one for all your students. By then, it will be a lot easier to control them and avoid lost baggage.

• You can label all the properties belonging to you using the plastic card. Sometimes, teachers share almost similar looking items. Therefore, in order to identify which one is yours, this is the best solution.

• If you want your students to know all your possible contact information when you are away, then you can just give the cards out to them. They will then contact you with whatever means possible depending on the urgency of the matter.

The best part is that these plastic cards are actually cheap. If you are to buy in set, then you can save more. You may also design one depending on your chosen template. You can also choose the pictures and colors that go with it. Just take note that there is a special printer used in printing these cards. Therefore, if you don’t have one at home, it is best to have it printed outside. If you want, you can just design the card in advance so you can just have it printed once the overall design is over.

If you wish to check out more about plastic card printer, then visit this site. Hope you make the most out of your informative plastic cards.

Making Math Easy

Math shouldn’t be a hard subject. Unfortunately, though, many of the Math teachers out there make it so. This shouldn’t be the case. Math can be as easy as one wants it to be. Many of the students at the university I teach at (I’m not bragging here) prefer taking Math classes under me, and this is because I simplify Math for them. The good news for Math teachers who do want to make Math easy for their students is that in today’s world, there are many ways they can do so. Advances in computer technology have made it possible to teach many mathematical concepts easily through the use of certain computer programs.

In my case, I teach Statistics with the help of binary options trading. Of course, it goes without saying that I’m only able to do this in my classes in the college level (high school students aren’t allowed to do binary options trading). Although I don’t force my students to do binary options trading, I always tell them that doing it with Banc de Binary (a regulated brokerage that won’t rig my students’ trades) will teach them a lot of important statistical concepts. Also, I make it a point to tell them not to invest too much money. This is because we’re only doing binary options trading for educational purposes.

Each time my students place a trade with Banc de Binary, they end up learning about very important statistical concepts more and more (probabilities, correlations, etc.). It may seem unlikely seeing as binary options trading involves only two options, putting and calling, but binary options trading is actually much more complex than that. It actually mirrors Statistics as a field. After all, Statistics looks very simple when one just takes a quick look at it, but the more one analyzes it, the more one realizes that it’s more complex than it really should be.

Compared to the other Statistics classes, the ones I teach end up performing a lot better on major exams. The best part is that they are able to retain their knowledge long after they pass my course. This is the actually the best part for me. Grades don’t matter as much as the amount of statistical knowledge they are able to keep in their heads.

Hopefully, this post of mine ends up inspiring my fellow Math teachers to think of ways to make Math a much simpler subject to their students. Knowing a lot about Math can make one very successful later on in life; after all, jobs that require a lot of knowledge in Mathematics tend to pay a lot more than those that don’t.

Tomorrow, I’m going to talk about something more lighthearted: my first year teaching Math. When I started out, I actually didn’t immediately teach at the college level. I actually taught at a high school for a time. By talking about my first year teaching Math, I hope to get more Math majors to actually consider pursuing a career teaching the subject.