U Penn prof: “Down with fractions!”

PHILADELPHIA — A few years ago, Dennis DeTurck, an award-winning professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, stood at an outdoor podium on campus and proclaimed “Down with fractions!”

“Fractions have had their day, being useful for by-hand calculation,” DeTurck said as part of a 60-second lecture series. “But in this digital age, they’re as obsolete as Roman numerals are.”

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DeTurck is stirring the pot again, this time in a book scheduled to be published next year. Not only does he favor the teaching of decimals over fractions to elementary school students, he’s taking on long division, the calculation of square roots and by-hand multiplication of long numbers.

To read more see today’s Wilmington [DE] News Journal (N.B.: This copyrighted story might not be available at this link location after the next week):

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