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Algorithms and the never ending debate

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The following is an email exchange with my brother, who is a bio-mechanics student and works in a laboratory. He always excelled in school mathematics, top of the class type of kid. Even today, if given a survey ranking your mathematical ability, he would put himself on the far end of the "proficient" spectrum. Math is an important part of his life and work.
From Me (the curious big brother)

I have a question for you.

As a professional scholar who works in a lab setting working with maths on a daily basis how often would you say that you use traditional algorithms that you learned in math class? Like long division, multiplying with the two numbers on top of each other, or using addition and subtraction?
Response From KD 
I use Math constantly, of course. But you said ‘traditional algorithm’… I mostly would really only do quick mental math, so I am not sure how much of the traditional algorithm process I still use.
The thing is though, anytime I need to use math officially I will h…

The Walls are Alive

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This article has been making its rounds:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10860523/Elaborate-classroom-displays-harm-childrens-education.html#disqus_thread

It starts with a nice hook, one that many teachers living in a world of high-tech minimalist design can easily relate to. The title:
Elaborate classroom displays 'harm children's education' It sounds like something people can get behind. As "progressive" educators we value a certain sense of design in the things we do. Design Thinking itself has become a buzz word, used not as simply the way something looks, but the way in which it is done. Design is a process. Seeing this headline makes us think of tacky classrooms filled with codes and commands on the walls and makes us believe in something more timeless, simple, and beautiful.
However, when we start to "read" the article, as opposed to just reacting to the headline, we are faced with a couple of strange circles we need to square (o…