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Making Quadratic Equations Easier

In the News | February 5, 2020

Looking for the answers to ax² + bx + c = 0? MƒA Master Teacher Bobson Wong and MƒA Chief Operating Officer Michael Driskill recently spoke with Kenneth Chang, science reporter at the New York Times, about a new method that may be a more effective way to teach students about quadratic equations.  

The technique has been introduced by mathematician Po-Shen Loh, a professor at Carnegie Mellon and coach of the U.S. Math Olympiad team, and longtime MƒA collaborator. MƒA teachers have been exploring Loh’s approach, and Wong was one of the first to try it out in his classroom:

“I was really surprised that most of my students were getting it. They were able to do it on their own,” said Wong. Dr. Loh’s version is easier for students because it, “provides one method for solving all kinds of quadratic equations.”

Driskill added that Loh was doing the right thing by checking with expert teachers to see if they felt that his method helped students understand quadratics. 

“It’s innovation in education that’s being pursued the right way,” said Driskill, chief operating officer of Math for America, an organization that recognizes top teachers and provides forums for them to exchange ideas.

Read more about this new take on quadratic equations in the New York Times here.