## Re: "Madam, I'm 2002 - a Numerically Beautiful Year"

The New York Times

Letters

January 4, 2002

To the editor,

"Madam, I'm 2002 - a Numerically Beautiful Year" (Op-Ed, Jan 2) by
Alfred S. Posamentier, does not completely explain the beauty of
mathematics. It lies not only in the interesting things that happen
when we play with numbers, but in the fact that we can understand why
such things happen.

It will not help our children to study palindromes to the exclusion of
long division. One is a cute dead end, while the other goes to the
heart of our number system. Making math attractive to students and
teachers does not have to mean skipping the good parts.

Jonathan Goodman

New York, Jan 2, 2002

The writer is a professor of mathematics, Courant Institute of
Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

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