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On the Shoulders of GIANTS . New Approaches to Numeracy LYNN ARTHUR STEEN Editor Mathematical Sciences Education Board National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990

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Preface ~ ~ v ~ v ~ v ~ ~ ~ v ~ ~ en v ~ ~ v ~ ~ Today's headlines are filled with reports of illiteracy, innumeracy, and other signs of educational decay. Tomorrow's schools can be filled with evidence of renaissance if we begin now to till the soil for effective educationin mathematics, in science, and in all subjects. This vol- ume offers five visions of mathematics suitable for tomorrow's schools visions rooted in imagination, in mathematics, and in science. Ideas in this volume can provide fertile soil for new approaches to tomorrow's numerary. Forces created by computers, applications, demographics, and schools themselves are changing profoundly the way mathematics is practiced, the way it is taught, and the way it is learned. Even as we work to make incremental change in today's schools, we must think also about more significant change that will be possible, indeed inevitable, in the future. For this reason the Mathematical Sciences Education Board (MSEB) decided that one of today's priorities is to stimulate imaginative thinking about tomorrow's curriculum. In this volume readers will find a vision of the richness of mathe- matics expressed through five vignettes that illustrate different possible strands of school mathematics. These papers expand on the theme of mathematics as the language and science of patterns and are introduced by a brief essay that highlights interconnections and common ideas. The authors were asked to explore ideas with deep roots in the mathematical sciences without concern for limitations of present schools or curricula. They do, however, suggest through numerous imaginative examples how . . .

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