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Ani's Math Story

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with math, leaning heavily towards the latter. It was always something I was good at, but didn’t enjoy. Quite frankly, it still stuns me on a regular basis that I’ve ended up working for a math company. Let me try to parse this out by saying that math has been intrinsically tied to every definitive choice I’ve made, consciously or unconsciously.

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Announcing Finalists for the 2020 Math Art Contest

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our first ever Desmos Global Math Art Contest. When we announced this campaign in February, we were not expecting to run straight into the global pandemic of COVID-19. But as schools closed down around the world and everyone’s life was thrown into chaos, we witnessed the unbelievable tenacity and resilience of teachers, students, and parents. Despite all the disruptions, your commitment to continue learning mathematics and loving it in the process has been inspiring. This love shone through in every single graph of the 4,000 entries we received from around the world, including more than 100 countries and territories.

Our team opened, reviewed, and was inspired by each and every graph that was submitted. We saw numerous examples of students expressing their identity through these graphs, from self-portraits and hometowns, to the challenges of quarantine and dreams of travel, to hand-drawn images turned into equations as well as fully animated stories.

As you can imagine, narrowing down to a list of finalists was incredibly hard. We had originally planned for 10 finalists in each age cohort, but after receiving an overwhelming volume of your inspiring works, we decided to double the number of finalists. Even then, we couldn’t come close to celebrating the hard work, creativity, and ingenuity of each of the participants. We were also impressed by the many incredible graphs based on copyrighted characters or images, but were unable to select any as finalists in accordance with our contest rules.

We want to thank all of the students who worked so hard on their graphs as part of this contest. For those who wish to obtain a certificate of participation, we will be sending that out via email to participants in the coming days. We hope to host more of these opportunities in the future, so stay tuned by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email. Teachers and school leaders are also welcome to join our Desmos Educators peer community.

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Reflections on Distance Teaching

Each week, we post a conversation starter in the Desmos Fellows Slack to help us connect, inspire, and grow. Recently we asked, “What is one piece of advice you wish you could go back and give yourself before you started distance teaching?”

The responses were both thoughtful and rich, and we wanted to share some of those thoughts with a larger community of teachers. Maybe readers will find new perspectives here, new ideas, a shared experience, or maybe some combination of these. It is important to remember that these responses are advice these Fellows would give to themselves, are reflective of their learning in their particular circumstances, and that this advice might in fact change in another month’s time. Nonetheless, some themes emerged in the discussion, such as flexibility and attending to classroom culture in this new environment.

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