2015 OECD PISA Global Education Survey

The top OECD countries were Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Finland and Canada. These countries also achieve high levels of performance and equity in education outcomes.

Source: OCDE

More than one in four students in Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong (China), Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Chinese Taipei are top-performing students in mathematics, a higher share than anywhere else.

Students in larger schools score higher in science and are more likely than students in smaller schools. Students in smaller schools reported a better disciplinary climate.

Gender gap: the share of top performers in science is larger among boys than among girls. Finland is the only country in which girls are more likely to be top performers than boys. Girls mostly seek positions in the health sector and boys  in becoming ICT professionals, scientists or engineers.

Five sample PISA Math questions:

THE MOST IMPORTANT MATH SIGN

A discussion on LinkedIn group «Math, Math Education, Math Culture» includes a simple question:

« What is the most important math sign (symbol) ? »

The question is vague, so everybody can differently interpret it.

There were more than 30 comments.

The proposals include:

0   1 +  =  ! …  <  * pi f(x) “all of them”

The several people mentioned “equals” sign (=).

Robert Recorde (1512–1558), a Welsh physician and mathematician introduced the modern “equals” sign (=) in 1557.

We can simplify something (2 + 3 = 5) or complicate the things (5 = 4 + 1) by using the sign.   It is also my favorite.

No joke!

My favorite math jokes:

“There are three types of mathematicians, those who can count and those who can’t.” Unknown Mathematician

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” – H. L. Mencken

“There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.” Unknown decimal expert

“Mathematics is made of 50 percent formulas, 50 percent proofs, and 50 percent imagination.” – Unknown author

“Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.” – J. H. Poincare
“A tragedy of mathematics is a beautiful conjecture ruined by an ugly fact. .” – Unknown author

“In mathematics, you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.” — Johann von Neumann

What is a math joke? Here the definition goes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_joke

Funny math questions:

Dueling Idiots Problem

A lady attempts to avoid revealing her real age

How much do numbers cost?

More funny question are at Funny Math .