... our fortunes in hand, when we retire, we can find HS students
who must INTERVIEW with us to be selected, and then we can choose
-- not necessarily the best and brightest -- but maybe the best
and most interesting. We tell them that this is NOT for AP credit;
rather, it is about a way of thinking about life's issues in a
mathematical and probabilistic way. We can get them on top of
the stat packages, with sharp, theoretical, relevant problems,
and they will respond with the wonderful curiosity of the young.
Ralph, a few years ago I was invited to speak in a high school AP calculus course in the waning days of the semester, after they had taken the exam. A friend's son had been given the choice between writing a paper to finish his requirement, or bringing a speaker who uses calculus in his work. Guess which he chose ... anyway, as I waited to speak on an educational application, I watched a shy, pretty 17-year-old young lady doing a slide presentation on the art of fractals. Lovely fractal geometry (mostly from the Gleick book on Chaos) .... She spoke softly, but firmly, tapping out her beautiful slides, her hair pulled back in sharp blond bas relief; her shyness belying her committment, ancient and timeless.
She was our daughter, our son. Appreciating the art of math, and the math of art. Such shameless beauty in both ... And THEY'RE OFF, the good children, ready to discern what is true and tripe in twenty-first century American academe.
Let's see if they can find that kinetic wonder in Jai Alai ...