Mathematics: Curricular Overview

Concept Example #1 Example #2 Example #3
Geometry: power of deductive reasoning Thales and pyramid of Giza Eratosthenes and circumference of earth Chinese proof of Pythagorean theorem
Statistics: chance Birthday Problem Odds of rolling a 3 versus a 7 Simpson’s Paradox

Bayes Rule

Base Rate Problem

Exponential Growth The rice on the chess board Paper folding Inflation
Calculus: optimization The optimal size of  a can The camel problem,

Dido’s problem

The pipeline problem
Magic Numbers Pi  – what is so special? The mystery of e


Can you visualize i?
Scaling First power- lengths Second power–areas Third power


Counting Taxes + virtues +

Income +

Cooking ingredients Good deeds per day; smiles; kind words
Calculating Ratios: santa/Grinch

Real versus reported earnings

Real versus nominal returns, pre tax versus after tax returns Discounted versus non discounted cash flows or reported debt

And real debt

Ethics of mathematics Is economic inequality a measure of injustice? How to distinguish between factors behind ethnic disparities? How to measure factors behind gender disparities?

What is a fair interest rate to charge a sibling?


What is the biggest hole you can cut into an 8 by 11 piece of paper?

How many piano tuners in Chicago?

How does Social Security work?

How does the welfare system work? (EITC, minimum wage, TANF, Medicaid)

What is the difference between the Federal budget deficit, the Federal debt, and the real debt of the federal government?

What is the difference between real and nominal interest rates and return?

What is bracket creep? Why are benefit payments inflation-adjusted and tax brackets are not?

Which numbers are highlighted and which ignored by proponents of a flat tax?