tasks placed in schools during July.
Around 269,484 placed since the project began in June 1992.
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|Farewell Geoff Giles
|Success At Ceduna||
|Task of the Month
Task 3, Doug's Tablecloth
Geoff Giles died in Scotland on August 4th. The Task Centre Project is conscious of losing a valued friend and extends a blessing of peace to his wife, Bet Sampson, and his family.
Geoff's work was introduced to the MAV through a conference around 1974 on Recent Trends in British Mathematics Education. A few years later he was invited to be Keynote Speaker at the 1978 AAMT conference in Melbourne. The paper he prepared for that address is recorded in Learning & Applying Mathematics, papers of the 7th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers. But these are words and, as such, a poor image of the spirit of a man who loved kids, loved mathematics, loved connecting kids and mathematics ... and demonstrated a significant degree of flexibility dancing a Scottish jig on the table at the conference dinner.
Geoff was passionate about all students having access to, and ownership of, mathematics. His creative, sometimes fiendish, mind developed scores of materials within the Fife Mathematics Project and, later, DIME Projects to support concrete, self-directed learning. His 1978 paper contains several examples, including an exploration of the transformation of shapes in a concrete hands-on situation which leads to the idea of, and need for, that most esoteric of secondary school mathematics concepts, Imaginary Numbers.
In partnership with Bet, Geoff took the Task Centre project under his wing in 1993 and became the British base for its work. He contributed many of his ideas and materials to the Project and his endowment will live on every time your students use Algebra Through Geometry, Octaflex, Tricubes, Angle Estimation, Rectangle Nightmare, and a range of other Project tasks. As recently as last year, although in his 80s, Geoff wrote a paper for us exploring the depth of Rectangle Nightmare.
Sharing his expertise was all that Geoff ever wanted to do. In the closing paragraph of his 1978 paper, he invited us all, and now invites us anew, to continue this process:
If this miscellaneous collection of bits and pieces has convinced you that mathematics in school can be made more interesting, accessible and understandable I will be happy. Should it also motivate you to work with others on the improvement of mathematics education in the classroom then I will be delighted. But please don't keep your insights to yourself. Share them and let them multiply.