The Math(s) Fix

The Math(s) Fix

The Math(s) Fix: An Education Blueprint for the AI Age is a groundbreaking book that exposes why maths education is in crisis worldwide and how the only fix is a fundamentally new mainstream subject. It argues that today's maths education is not working to elevate society with modern computation, data science and AI. Instead, students are subjugated to compete with what computers do best, and lose.

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This is the only book to:

  • Explain why being "bad at maths" may be as much the subject's fault as the learner's.
  • Show how a stuck educational ecosystem has students, parents, teachers, schools, employers and policymakers running in the wrong direction to catch up with real-world requirements.
  • Set out a completely alternative vision for a core computational school subject to fix the problem and seed more general reformation of education for the AI age.

This is the only book to:

  • Explain why being "bad at maths" may be as much the subject's fault as the learner's.
  • Show how a stuck educational ecosystem has students, parents, teachers, schools, employers and policymakers running in the wrong direction to catch up with real-world requirements.
  • Set out a completely alternative vision for a core computational school subject to fix the problem and seed more general reformation of education for the AI age.
I sometimes describe my job as computation for everyone through smart automation; between our efforts and others', it's worked remarkably well. The world is dramatically more computational than 30 years ago across an enormous range of fields. Except in education. Hence my evening job—and the subject of this book—which I sometimes describe as optimising everyone for computation through computational thinking.

CONRAD WOLFRAM is cofounder and CEO of Wolfram Research Europe. Over the last 30 years he has been a key part of the technology transformation that has brought maths, computation and data science to the forefront of today's world and moved us towards the fourth industrial revolution. Conrad regularly appears in the media to speak about subjects ranging from the computational future and artificial intelligence to twenty-first-century education. His team's work to build a solution started in 2010 when computerbasedmath.org was founded—this book being a key milestone in the journey to fundamental reform.

Conrad Wolfram

What Is The Math(s) Fix?

This book is about what the problem is, how it came about and how it can be solved. It takes a cold, hard look at what maths education is and lays out what it should be, not only to keep up with AI, but to empower humankind for this upcoming era.

The Problem

The maths taught around the world today does not fit how it is used in the real world. Computation technology is more accessible than ever before, but no curriculum in the world assumes it exists. Instead it is focussed on the mechanics of hand calculation, rather than the essence of real-world maths.

The Fix

The fix is a new core computational subject that is built on actual problems solved by real people in the real world with today's technology. A computer-based maths curriculum should be built around real-world requirements such as data science, information theory and modelling.

Achieving Change

Enabling transformation of this scale is no easy task. This part of the book addresses common objections, sets out a roadmap for change and analyses where computational thinking works, as well as its limitations, an essential part of empowering society to question the world around it.

Praise for The Math(s) Fix

Conrad Wolfram is one of the most important mathematical thinkers of our time. This book is packed with incredible ideas that could fundamentally change the mathematics experience for students across the world. The vision Conrad puts forward will allow students to experience mathematics as a beautiful, exciting subject empowering them to use critical and computational thinking, solving the problems they will encounter in their 21st-century work and lives.
—Jo Boaler, author of bestseller Mathematical Mindsets
I never enjoyed maths until Conrad taught me its beauty and how I could apply it to my passions. Traditionally taught in schools like a dead language, we spend years training to compete with machines. In an era of AI the machines will win unless we reimagine what maths can be, where present and future generations harness its power to solve our most important challenges. This book tells us how.
—Graham Brown-Martin, broadcaster and author of Learning {Re}imagined
Maths is the weak link in every school. Progressive efforts at education reform are impossible without addressing this reality and offering a new diet of mathematics for children. [In this book] Conrad Wolfram makes an important contribution to this effort by making the case, not just for new pedagogical strategies, but also by sharing a vision of computationally rich mathematics experiences accessible to learners of all ages. Reinvent school maths and you change the world!
—Gary Stager, Ph.D., teacher educator and co-author of
Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom
Many are convinced that computers have pushed school maths ever closer to a cliff-edge falling into irrelevance. Almost uniquely, Conrad Wolfram's book offers a bold move forward. Based on both his experience and insight, he encourages us to 'jump into the unknown' and move from teaching computing skills to promoting computational thinking. He has pioneered this concept and drawn a compelling roadmap to overcome the deadlock, giving our students truly empowering maths skills.
—Jaak Aaviksoo, Minister of Culture and Education, Republic of Estonia