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Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds

by Katie Radke - 0 Comment(s)

Our newest volunteer program, Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds is designed to foster confidence in math skills among students in grades one through six. Through fun numeracy activities and with support from adult volunteers, elementary students receive specialized math tutoring services by using JUMP Math material.

Adults with an interest in math and an interest in helping children improve their math skills are encouraged to volunteer. Training will be provided.

Listen to Mayor Nenshi share the importance of math skills and his personal invitation for you to volunteer!

Learn more about the Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds program here and apply to volunteer with library programs here.

No More Praying Tutors

by Katherine

During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I toyed with the idea of gambling, but ultimately decided not to. After all, the house always wins, but beyond that, I just don’t have the math skills to make quick decisions about doubling down or anteing up. Alas, I was one of those kids (and now am one of those adults) who makes calculations by counting on my fingers. And the other players at the blackjack table simply don’t have the patience for “...15, 16, 17,’ll stay!”

If you’re someone who never quite mastered the basics, then check out Math for Grownups, by math educator Laura Laing.

Many years ago, my math tutor told me that he would pray for me, before a big exam. The exam went well, but I’ve never been able to forget the feeling that if God had to intervene on my behalf, then I was surely a loser who was destined to forever struggle with math. A book like this one may have helped me more in the long run than a plaintive prayer from a frustrated tutor.

If you’re brushing up on your math skills or upgrading for continuing education courses, then browse section 510 for textbooks at all grade levels. If you’re anticipating writing a diploma exam or its equivalent, we’ve got The Key study guides, too.

The Biography of Math

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)


a) Rustic Italian pasta

b) A variant of athlete’s foot

c) Inventor of the Fibonacci sequence

All of the answers above are incorrect, although if you chose “c”, you’re pretty close. Actually, Fibonacci didn’t invent the sequence at all. Rather, he discovered its use across the ancient Near East and in India, as he travelled with his father, who was a merchant.


a) Mathematician

b) Philosopher

c) Vegetarian

You’re correct if you chose any or all of the above. ‘Pythagoras the mathematician’ gets all the glory, but there are many other sides to this figure. He was a wandering philosopher and also a vegetarian! Who knew?

Mathematics is much more than just formulae. It is a human product, and as such, has its own history of development. How did the concept of zero become invented? When did Roman numerals stop being used? Which society first used the decimal? Search our catalogue to learn more about how it all happened! We've also got math text books, The Key study guides, and past Diploma Exams!