About G’Day Math!

James Tanton

James Tanton

Believing that mathematics really is accessible to all, James Tanton (PhD, Mathematics, Princeton 1994) is committed to sharing the delight and the beauty of the subject. In 2004 James founded the St. Mark’s Institute of Mathematics, an outreach program promoting joyful and effective mathematics education. He worked as a full-time high school teacher at St. Mark’s School in Southborough MA,(2004-2012) while conducting mathematics graduate courses for teachers. He continues to give professional development workshops across the nation and Canada.

James recently relocated to Washington D.C. and is currently a visiting scholar of the Mathematical Association of America. He also conducts the professional development program for Math For America program in D.C.

James is the author of SOLVE THIS: MATH ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS AND CLUBS (MAA, 2001), THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MATHEMATICS (Facts on File, 2005), MATHEMATICS GALORE! (MAA, 2012) and twelve self-published texts. He is the 2005 recipient of the Beckenbach Book Prize, the 2006 recipient of the Kidder Faculty Prize at St. Mark’s School, and a 2010 recipient of a Raytheon Math Hero Award for excellence in school teaching.

He also publishes research and expository articles, and through his extracurricular research classes for students has helped high school students pursue research projects and also publish their results.

An Effective Approach to Mathematics

James Tanton believes that the ultimate goal of the mathematics curriculum is to teach self-reliant thinking, critical questioning and the confidence to synthesize ideas and to re-evaluate them. The content of any curriculum, of course, is important but the path through it should be uncluttered. We want to promote thinking and joyous doing, conceptual understanding over rote practice and memorization. Our complex society demands of its next generation not only mastery of quantitative skills, but also the confidence to ask new questions, explore, wonder, flail, innovate and succeed.

For well over a decade Tanton has helped educators and students find joyful personal understanding of mathematical concepts. By locking into the simplicity of seemingly complex ideas, we can teach ourselves joyful intellectual agility, the confidence and ease to rely on one’s wits to “nut things out ” and find lasting success. (And still master all those mandated state and national tests!)