Global Math Week 2017: In Review

This guest post is written by James Tanton, Mathematician-at-Large, Mathematical Association of America.

Global Math Week 2017
Global Math Week 2017

A global phenomenon in mathematics occurred in October of 2017.

Over 1 million students and teachers from 168 countries and territories shared a common experience of joyous, uplifting, classroom-relevant mathematics. All was grassroots. All was volunteer. And all was propelled by our beautiful global community of teachers simply wanting to share the joy and wonder of meaningful mathematics with their students. It was the world’s inaugural Global Math Week.

Did you miss participating? Get a glimpse of the substance of the math program that inspired so many students ages 10 to 80 with Dr. Raj Shah’s talk on Exploding Dots at the 2017 National Math Festival.

The Global Math Project has proven that genuine mathematical exploration really does transcend borders to unite communities across the planet:

  • 96.8% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the Global Math Week topic of Exploding Dots helped students see mathematics as more approachable, 96.6% as more enjoyable, 96.1% as making sense, and 93.1% as helping students be more confident in mathematics.
  • 75.5% of teachers said that Exploding Dots changed their own perception of mathematics in some way with 97.7% agreeing or strongly agreeing that Exploding Dots made mathematics more enjoyable, 97.3% as more approachable, and 96.0% as more understandable.
  • The Global Math Week 2017 website,, is still receiving thousands of visits each day.

What’s in store for years to come? Global Math Week returns October 10-17, 2018, when we plan to roll out additional classroom-relevant experiences. If you register on the Exploding Dots or Global Math Project websites, you will find out the latest when it occurs.


PS: As one more bit of fun, you might try finding your own Personal Polynomial, a small endeavor created with MSRI and the National Math Festival.