Abstract:

This presentation is designed to entertain mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike with the two most ubiquitous concepts in mathematics-taken from a light-hearted point of view.

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Alfred S. Posamentier is Currently Distinguished Lecturer at New York City College of Technology or the City University of New York.  He is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education at The City College of the City University of New York, and former Dean of the School of Education.  He is the author and co-author of more than 45 mathematics books for teachers, secondary and elementary school students, and the general readership.  Dr. Posamentier is also a frequent commentator in newspapers on topics relating to education. 

 

After completing his A.B. degree in mathematics at Hunter College of the City University of New York, he took a position as a teacher of mathematics at Theodore Roosevelt High School (Bronx, New York), where he focused his attention on improving the students’ problem-solving skills and at the same time enriching their instruction far beyond what the traditional textbooks offered.  He also developed the school’s first mathematics teams (both at the junior and senior level).  He is still involved in working with mathematics teachers and supervisors, nationally and internationally, to help them maximize their effectiveness. 

 

Immediately upon joining the faculty of the City College in 1970 (after having received his master’s degree there in  1966), he began to develop inservice courses for secondary school mathematics teachers, including such special areas as recreational mathematics and problem solving in mathematics.  As Dean of the City College School of Education, his scope of interest in educational issues covers the full gamut educational issues.  During his tenure as dean he took the School from the bottom of the New York State rankings to the top with a perfect accreditation assessment from NCATE.

 

In 1973, Dr. Posamentier received his Ph.D. from Fordham University (New York) in mathematics education and has since extended his reputation in mathematics education to Europe.  He has been visiting professor at several European universities in Austria, England, Germany, and Poland, while at the University of Vienna he was Fulbright Professor (1990). 

 

In 1989 he was awarded an Honorary Fellow at the South Bank University (London, England). In recognition of his outstanding teaching, the City College Alumni Association named him Educator of the Year in 1994, and in 2009.  New York City had the day, May 1, 1994, named in his honor by the President of the New York City Council.  In 1994, he was also awarded the Grand Medal of Honor from the Republic of Austria, and in 1999,  upon approval of Parliament, the President of the Republic of Austria awarded him the title of University Professor of Austria.  In 2003 he was awarded the title of Ehrenbürger (Honorary Fellow) of the Vienna University of Technology, and  in 2004 was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Arts and Science, First Class from the President of the Republic of Austria.  In 2005 he was inducted into the Hunter College Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Townsend Harris Medal by the City College Alumni Association. In 2009 he was Awarded the Christian Peter Beuth Prize in Berlin.

 

He has taken on numerous important leadership positions in mathematics education locally.  He was a member of the New York State Education Commissioner’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the Math-A Regents Exams, and the Commissioner’s Mathematics Standards Committee, which redefined the Standards for New York State, and he also serves on the New York City schools’ Chancellor’s Math Advisory Panel.

 

Now having completed over 40 years on the faculty of the City College (the last 10 of which as dean), he is still a leading commentator on educational issues and continues his long time passion of seeking ways to make mathematics interesting to both teachers, students and the general public – as can be seen from some of his more recent books, Progress in Mathematics  K-9 textbook series (Sadlier-Oxford, 2006-2009) Math Wonders: To Inspire Teachers and Students (ASCD, 2003), Math Charmers: Tantalizing Tidbits for the Mind (Prometheus Books, 2003), , A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Number (Prometheus Books, 2004), 101+ Great Ideas to Introduce Key Concepts in Mathematics (Corwin, 2006), What successful Math Teacher Do: Grades 6-12 (Corwin 2006), What successful Math Teacher Do: Grades K-5 (Corwin 2007), Exemplary Practices for Secondary Math Teachers (ASCD, 2007) and The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers (Prometheus Books, 2007), Problem-Solving Strategies for Efficient and Elegant Solutions, Grades 6-12 (Corwin, 2008), Problem Solving in Mathematics: Grades 3-6: Powerful Strategies to Deepen Understanding (Corwin, 2009), Mathematical Amazements and Surprises: Fascinating Figures and Noteworthy Numbers (Prometheus, 2009), The Pythagorean Theorem : Its Power and Glory (Prometheus, 2010)