http://www.smh.com.au/national/figuring-how-to-make-maths-and-science-cool-20120207-1r5bg.html

Australian academics have been tracking the declining trend in young students electing to undertake more complex mathematics in preference for simpler more elementary options. The article stated the following statistics.

*In 1995, 14 per cent of Year 12 maths students were studying advanced mathematics, while 37 per cent were studying elementary maths.*

*But 15 years later, the numbers are changing; 10 per cent were studying advanced maths, while 50 per cent took the easiest option.*

The decline in interest is attributed to the subject being seen as boring and also many young people viewing the subject as having less relevance and applicability to real life. Academics have acknowledged that for a younger generation dominated by the world of social networking, a more pragmatic and focused mathematics curriculum should be provided that is more suited to meet the needs of today.

Kids are no longer hanging out at popular train accident black spots attempting to calculate the precise time that the east bound and west bound trains will collide given their different speeds and respective departure times from their stations.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, was very excited to unveil the exciting new mathematics option, to be made available to students in 2012, targeted specifically at the younger social networking generation. After a number of years of research it became obvious to his research team that concepts such as multiplication, division, subtraction, and even the notion of an equation have become obsolete and that a new course focused purely on the incrementing of a counter by a value of one should cover most day to day situations for students. The following is an example of the type of mathematical problems students will be taught to solve.

*If Suzy makes the following status update on the Friday evening*

*“My life is totally gay. I wish I was a vampire then everyone would understand how I really feel.”*

*Given that she already has 43 likes on her update, if you also liked her update, how many likes would she have?*

Teachers are being trained in the new modern course and will be issuing students with more specific calculators to assist students in incrementing particularly large numbers such as 87 or 294.

It is hoped that with this modern offering, more students will be able to see the relevance in mathematics and apply it to their constant drive to accumulate more friends, followers, likes, comment responses, and FarmVille livestock. Ian Chubb was at least hopeful that this post would attract more followers to his Facebook page as his statistics were looking a little bit lacking.

“Hey students, check out this loser in the pink shirt. He would actually like to know what happens to the number when you un-friend someone. Is that even possible? I am so going to tweet your dumb ass question and then post it on my Facebook page. Un-friend someone indeed. SMH!”

Brilliant! I know a lot of Suzy’s.

A Suzy counter could help you keep track of the number of these individuals that you know though if you are like me this is a number you wished was zero.

The problem with trying to teach “If a train leaves Calcutta with 1,089 people on the roof while a rocket ship leaves Alpha Centauri at the speed of light, which one will get to the water buffalo on the tracks at Mumbai first?” is that when you recite the problem into your iPhone, all that happens is that a bunch of train ticket booking sites pop up with all their prices in rupees.

Clearly addition is the new calculus.

You must have the Siri update as you appear to get reasonably relevant responses. I just get a list of adult sites featuring steam locomotives from the 1800’s in various states of disassembly. I am not complaining, just saying.