Education: Math Is Fun

At the University of Illinois last week, a big man in a rumpled brown suit strode up to a blackboard and wrote: ' times zero equals zero." Then he asked ten junior-high-school students to make the sentence "true" by filling in the blank. As 40 schoolteachers from as far away as Florida and Alaska looked on, the students excitedly gave Mathematician Max Beber-man their answer: the sentence is already true because anything times zero equals zero. What the teachers saw were ninth-graders discovering a math principle entirely by themselves. This approach is so important to Beberman that he may not even...

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