Academics

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Quantum computer figures out that 15 = 3 × 5

Prime factorization of large numbers makes online purchases with a credit card more secure. But physicists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, might have found a way to beat it. The issue now is time.


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Nat’l Assoc. of Basketball Coaches files amicus brief in affirmative action case

The National Association of Basketball Coaches has filed an amicus (“friend of the Court”) brief with the US Supreme Court in the case of a white girl who was denied admission to the University of Texas, Austin, but says she was more qualified than many of the African-American students who were admitted, because the university uses race as one of the factors in deciding admission.



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NSF awards $19 mil in environmental ed grants

The National Science Foundation awarded six organizations some very big grants in order to make education about climate change more effective in our schools. One grant recipient from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science noted that the subject was controversial, and he’s right.


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Environmental literacy summit in Allegany County

A summit at a beautiful site in Allegany County, Md., brought more than 160 educators together to share ideas about teaching environmental literacy from every school system in Maryland. A time to learn and love the outdoors.


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Voxitatis releases graphic demonstration tool: compare fractions on wheels

Voxitatis has released a second hands-on “demo” in mathematics, aligned to grade 4 of the Common Core. This one is derived from the open-source version of an earlier demo about comparing fractions that may have unlike denominators. Use it as a demo in front of a classroom or study group, then let kids play on their own and explore fraction comparisons.



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K.C. school district seeks strip-search suit dismissal

A school district wants a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the mother of a female student who claims she was wrongfully strip-searched. The girl’s mother says her daughter was forced to lift up her shirt and bra, exposing herself in front of a school nurse and vice principal.


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Voxitatis releases math manipulative for comparing 4 fractions using fraction bars

Voxitatis has released the first of many hands-on learning tools to come, emphasizing our core belief that kids learn by doing and by exploring concepts in a trial-and-error fashion. This first one is about comparing fractions that may have unlike denominators, and it’s a lot better than online drills and practice problems. The US Common Core puts this at about Grade 4.


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Maryland 3rd-graders at a crime scene camp

Students in Maryland attended a crime scene camp last month, and from this we can see why juries have noticed a “CSI Effect” and why students learn by participating in activities that put information into a context of something that’s important to them.