There comes a time when there is more looking back than looking forward and this is that time for me. Hello and welcome to 50+ years of maths education. If there is something here for you to ponder upon then great. If not then so be it. Just make sure your children, our children, get a good deal. Thanks.
This time of year is always special for me both personally and professionally. It is the end of July now and two important dates, happily, keep coming around. First I have a wedding anniversary and, secondly, a major birthday when our son was born.
Professionally there was a huge event about to break. Travelling by bus to visit my new family in hospital I bought a copy of The Teacher (2ndAugust 1963) and opened it to read. There glairing at me was an article which I had written entitled Human Computer. My first publication was about my class of ‘slow learners’ getting involved with binary numbers. Not everyone was happy though. In the days when £-s-p ruled my kids were into binary numbers. After all Sputnik had gone up and the west was worried about loosing out in the space race.
I guess now I should add a couple more events to my July memory bank. As I write it is 50 years since man landed on the moon and the Bank of England has just announced that the new £50 note will feature mathematician/code breaker Alan Turin. And just for fun there is to be a binary code tape displayed on the note carrying a ‘secret code’. I will save up and get one and frame it alongside my Human Computerarticle.
Well, that’s about it for now. What follows is the detail of how Human Computerbecame Marshall Mathematics. I am going to enjoy writing and talking about it. It will cover a lot of ground, like over 50 years. My current project is seeing how some traditional children’s games can be tightened up mathematically. Indeed it was a highly respected games company I know who suggested we should develop Marshall Mathematics and I was happy to agree.
So, come with me. We are going back to the 1950s. We were on our way to the moon and primary schools were teaching arithmetic. Mathematics here we come……10….9….8….7….110….101….100….11….10….1….zero
John Marshall July 2019