About your post on the quadratic formula. It goes back up in September every year, because that is when students are forced to start to learn about it. Down in the summer because nobody likes what they teach in school.

You’re not exactly right.

For most students, the quadratic formula is indeed a gruesome encounter with some non-trivial mathematics. They don’t know where it comes from, have to learn it by heart, and know how to use it only in straightforward but artificial exercises. No creativity to be found. It can even be disapproved to try something new instead of sticking to the plan.

The source of that problem doesn’t lie with the math itself: it’s the system of education that’s inherently wrong. To make students appreciate mathematics, they should be taught to *think*, instead of to calculate. Creativity, intuition and interest should be stimulated, by letting students try to solve problems, instead of giving them a magic formula to apply and to learn by heart. Math is not solving quadratics by a formula, it’s understanding why the formula works.

If you’re the lucky student who understands math is about deducing real life truths, and not about calculations with contrived interpretations, you just may be wanting to learn about cool mathematics during summer. I do. But then you wouldn’t need to waste time on looking up the quadratic formula, because you’d know where it comes from.

Don’t blame mathematics for being boring, blame school.