Professor launches TV show and book aimed at making math fun
Lynda Colgan never imagined that her bi-weekly column about math in a Kingston newspaper would lead to a television show and a book based on her ideas. But this week, the associate professor in the Faculty of Education will celebrate the debut of The Prime Radicals and the release of Mathemagic. Both the TV show and the book aim to make mathematics fun and accessible to everyone.
“This is public education on a scale I never thought I’d have the privilege or the opportunity to be involved in,” says Dr. Colgan. “I think it will be the highlight of my career.”
Much of Dr. Colgan’s work and research has focused on finding fresh approaches to math education. She says that people often speak about math in negative terms, which can have a profoundly negative impact on children who may think math is too hard or too dull to warrant an effort.
Dr. Colgan’s columns, and the TV show and book they spawned, use tricks, tips, and everyday occurrences to help explain math in simple terms.
“The whole purpose is to let both children and adults see that math is around them all the time, that it is accessible, and that it can actually be fun,” she says.
The Prime Radicals is set to debut Jan. 15 at 3:30 pm on TVOntario. The first season of the show, which includes 26 15-minute episodes, will also be broadcast on education stations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Dr. Colgan stars in two episodes of the series and also collaborated on the scripts and post-production process. Talks about a second season are already underway.
Mathemagic, published by Kids Can Press, will be available this March.