As you can tell, I write about, think about, and practice mathematics. I also teach mathematics to all levels. If you are looking for a professional development provider for mathematics or computer science, I am happy to work with your school or school district.

Some FAQs

My name is Manan Shah. Professionally, I work as a mathematician, data scientist, software developer, and part-time educator.

Send me an email. Or call me: 908 433 8005.

There are a few ways.

- We can set up an arrangement through your school for me to come by and work with you and your team.
- If coming by in person is out of reach, we can set up a webinar.

I can also work with you on a recurring basis if you are interested in a longer term contract.

I am a proponent of directed professional development — my seminars are *not* stand-and-deliver. Instead, my goal is to address the questions / concerns that your staff may have. Or if the desire is to teach a new topic that is unfamiliar to staff, then I aim to do this in a hands-on, engaged way that simulates a classroom environment, preferably the environment in your teachers’ classrooms.

Absolutely! I am a proponent of directed professional development. I want to give you what you want. Once we have a working arrangement, then in an ideal world, I get a list of questions / concerns that you would like to be addressed. Then, I can prepare and we can go over your questions. If you’re not sure what to ask [understandable!] then I can prepare a seminar and we can go from there. The overall point is to get you to be 100% confident!

Certainly. I work as a consulting mathematician in industry and regularly use the mathematics we are taught in school. I am happy to work with you and your school to develop some customized material for you to use in your classroom.

Yes!

I would love to! Let’s talk about what your students know and don’t know. Then, I can work directly with you (or your teacher if you are an administrator) to make a lesson plan. Once that’s in place, we can rehearse a little if you like and I can come to your classroom. If we want to do this remotely, we can also work out the arrangements for that as well.

Yes! I program in many languages and actively work in developing software. I can help with whatever skill level you want. It can be as basic as a teaching a person to think like a programmer to writing software.

This blog is not about how miserable math is. Math is not misery! Math is fun, beautiful, practical, useful, and true. Instead, the title “Math Misery?” aims to convey the general feeling that the majority of people have when it comes to working with mathematics.

Why is this though? Why is it that across all walks of life, the subject of mathematics instills fear, panic, and general anxiety among people? I can speculate on a lot of reasons. Our education system has a misguided way of teaching the subject matter. This, in turn, creates a feedback loop. Kids become adults. Adults become parents. Parents don’t emphasize mathematics because they didn’t understand it. Rinse and repeat and we have what we have today.

There’s also a general misunderstanding about what mathematics is. Many believe that being “good at math” means being able to compute mentally and quickly. Many people also do not understand what mathematicians do. “Oh, you’re a mathematician? Where do you teach?” And if this is the sentiment, why should one bother studying mathematics, if all one would do is just teach it?

Even the simplest topics like basic arithmetic are taught in such a painful way, it is no wonder people shy away from further study.

This blog like so many other math-related blogs aims to bring awareness about what mathematics is and what mathematicians do. There are (or will be) tools for teachers, students, practitioners, and just anyone curious.

As is the case with most blogs, the content here is for educational purposes. Our language is discrete, but our cognitive processes are far more granular. There is no expectation that a given method, solution, pedagogy, etc. will work 100% of the time for 100% of the students. Educators know their students the best and should find the appropriate pedagogical and didactic methods. In other words, use sound judgment when teaching and don’t expect a miracle method.

With that said, I hope that you will be able to find answers, ideas, and friends here.

Did you come to our "Math in Motion" session? Did you miss it? We covered a whole host of topics from how to get students moving when learning about least common multiples to setting up a human number line to working through a traveling salesman problem. There are activities for all grade levels and all ability levels.

We have a lot more than what we presented! And we're making it into a book. If you'd like to have the latest updates about the book release, upcoming presentations, new blog posts, or just want to keep in touch, sign up below!

If you want the slide deck from our 2018 NJEA presentation, see the link below. Please note that the slide deck was primarily for presentation purposes. In other words, it's not verbose. The meaning was conveyed during our presentation.

We're happy to work directly with your school and set up a professional development workshop customized to your needs! Just ask!