Maths for the future

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Maths for the future

Martin Grötschel. Image: TU Berlin/Pressestelle/Ulrich Dahl

"Anyone can learn mathematics, if it's taught appropriately," says Martin Grötschel, Secretary of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). That's an important statement, since mathematics has never been so important to society as a whole than it is now. We talk to Grötschel about the challenges that lie ahead, from teaching maths at school to integrating mathematicians from developing nations, and the role of the IMU in building the future of maths. We also talk about creativity in maths and Grötschel's dream of making all mathematical works ever produced freely available online.

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As a teacher one of the most powerful comments from this was in talking about the measure of a person/mathematician: " Make personal evaluations, don't rely on numbers and try to use a more holistic approach." Highlighting for me that students should never become their assessment results, reduced to a number alone!

His point about needing good mathematics teaching at every level sounded very positive too, particularly combined with the "Learning recipes is not a good way to learn mathematics" - how true!

A fabulously interesting interview, thank you.