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Exploding Dots Project Connects Students To Math Through Social Media

Math is not usually something you think about when you log on to social media. But one math educator is trying to change that notion for teachers and students.

It’s called Exploding Dots. And for James Tanton, PhD, a Phoenix resident formerly from Australia, he hopes the project will inspire students to see math not just as numbers but a story with a human connection.

"Those algorithms we’re taught in grade school are very strange but all part of the storyline of using place value with cleverness and with joy," Tanton said. "We have 10 digits on our hands and the numbers are called digits."

Tanton said students and teachers from over 100 countries and territories will take part in the project.

“They’re going to share a common piece of mathematics together, talk about it, enjoy it and have a conversation on social media about it, basically for the love of mathematics being a portal to human joy and wonder," he said.

The project is part of Global Math Week that starts Tuesday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify James Tanton's title.

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Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.