About The Book
Mathematics is wonder-filled, awe-inspiring, joy inducing playground of the mind is the claim of this book. In stark contrast to most peoples experience with this subject Singh and Brownell paint a picture of a system of playing with ideas, relationships, numbers, and shapes that has fascinated humanity for literally 1000’s of years. This book is meant to inspire that sense of wonder and simultaneously challenge the means by which mathematics is communicated in schools today. No you will not find page after page of exercises inside. There are no, “If train A leaves Station A going 40 mph…” mind-numbing and stupid problems inside here.
Within this book are examples of puzzles and paradoxes, challenges and conundrums, along with a few stories of discovery, coming of age, and the overall human story that is this jewel of the intellect, “mathematics.”
We hope you read the book with a laptop, a pencil and paper, a calculator, a beverage of your choosing and better yet a good friend to talk about the ideas within it. Mathematics has been created by societies, individuals working within their cultures to solve problems and for the sheer joy of knowing something. This is what we hope you see inside our little romp and tumble down the rabbit’s hole. Please feel free to send us questions about ideas within, we may not have any answers but sure do love to think along with you. There are ways to contact us on the Contact Us page.
About the authors
About Christopher S. Brownell
Christopher S. Brownell, PhD, is a husband, father of three grown daughters, and a 14-year veteran high school math teacher turned university math and math education professor, now with 19 years’ experience at that level. His main professional focus for the past two decades has been in supporting teachers of mathematics at every phase of their career. This includes teaching both undergraduate mathematics majors and in-service teachers at Fresno Pacific and Claremont Graduate Universities.
His lessons, talks, and presentations seek to communicate that mathematics is a fundamental human characteristic, something we all have within us, something with a great story to be told. Convinced that knowing mathematics will make anyone better at whatever they choose or find themselves doing in their professional lives, he is involved in several organizations that share these goals. Among them is the Global Math Project, for which he is an ambassador, the Experience Workshop, an international collective of educators working and researching in the area of STEAM education, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Mathematical Association of America. Recently he was elected as a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education.
His work as a professor has recently taken him to several European countries and South Korea, where he has spoken at conferences and gatherings of societies dedicated to mathematical art, STEAM education, and the use of digital tools in teaching mathematics. To Chris mathematics is as creative an endeavor as storytelling, art, play-writing, and music making—the doing of which brings him great joy.
About Sunil Singh
Sunil Singh was a high school math and physics teacher for nineteen years. He has taught every grade level, and in every situation imaginable, from the socio-economic challenges of tough, urban schools in Toronto, Ontario, to an International Baccalaureate School in Switzerland. His views on the purpose and potential for learning mathematics—and that all students are capable of loving mathematics—have been strongly reinforced in this wide domain of experiences.
Sunil has viewed mathematics as an adventure his entire life, and now mathematics is providing adventures for him in writing and traveling. He has given more than fifty presentations on creative mathematics across North America, including The Royal Conservatory of Mathematics in Toronto and The Museum of Mathematics in New York. His interactive Family Math Nights have taken him as far as Austin, Texas. He is the author of Pi of Life: The Hidden Happiness of Mathematics and was a regular writer for the New York Times Numberplay section. He is also a co-editor at Q.E.D., a popular blog for “disruptive” math writing. He has been a featured speaker at math conferences such as NCTM and NCSM.
Although he was a high school math teacher for most of his career, Sunil’s focus now is K–8 mathematics, a devotion completely inspired by visiting his daughter’s grade 1 class in 2014, and witnessing the enormous capabilities of the youngest students in mathematics. In addition to mathematics, his passions include music, cooking, baking, traveling, soccer, hockey, dogs, craft beer, and his two kids, Aidan and Raya.