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Working on a mathematical glossary all year has helped us pay special attention to words and language and the role they play in mathematics. Some definitions we have found have made us cross (mostly the very vague ones); our paths have crossed with many interesting organisations and institutions working in this area; and some events of 2020 have provided quite the crosswind to our work on mathematical words. The natural crossover of words and arranging them in space is, of course, a crossword – and so we have the final glossary blog of the year, fittingly, as a festive gift to you.
As you can see, there are 18 clues given below; some of them are mathematical and others are Christmas-related. Feel free to print off the crossword or write down your answers on a piece of paper. Enjoy!
You can find the answers at the bottom of the blog.
Are the mathematical words related in any way? Do they have anything in common? Why did we choose those words? The answer is they all appeared in our glossary blog series in 2020! For instance, in February, we looked at which key terms in the Framework are linked to rectangle and in March, we investigated the frequency of the appearance of the term probability in books using Google Ngram viewer.
Glossary blogs were a new addition to our Mathematical Salad this year and were a result of the team developing the CM Define It app. The survey app allowed us to collect information from professionals in maths education, with the aim of finding out what they value in definitions of mathematical key terms and what they believe makes definitions successful. App users were able to rate existing definitions of selected key terms and provide more detailed feedback for each definition. We carried out this project to find out what the maths education community would like to see in definitions of key words and if this can inform the glossary layer of the Cambridge Mathematics Framework. The CM Define It app was launched in October 2019 and was originally set up to continue until the beginning of October 2020, but it was extended to the end of December. Although CM Define It is now coming to an end, there is more work for us in store! The next step is to analyse the data collected to consider the ways in which information from the app might inform the glossary embedded in the Framework.
As the glossary app inspired so many blogs, we would like to find out if you had a favourite blog from the series. We created a quick survey and would love to know your thoughts! To vote for your favourite glossary blog(s), please click here or copy and paste this link into a browser: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/B9BQMPP. The survey will end on 31 December 2020.
We hope that you have a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Cambridge Maths Christmas Crossword complete with mathematical words highlighted