👏 We just finished listening to the interdisciplinary presentations from my students’ end-of-summer projects. As you know, the course is an applied math course called Quantitative Reasoning; these rising sophomores showed just that with passion and commitment.
In the words of one of our guests: “The kids are impressive and give me hope for the future!” Note that we’re not talking about upper-income students from the leafy suburbs with all the best opportunities—these are low-income students from Boston and Cambridge public schools.
Topics ranged from gentrification to community gardens, from mental health to gender discrimination. Although the pandemic clearly had a negative impact on math fundamentals for most of the students, it certainly did not have a negative impact on what they accomplished. Taken as a whole, these were the best presentations I saw in two decades of CSA. This cohort was also the strongest at offering comments and asking questions. You can come up with your own hypothesis for why this should be so.