National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): Open Letter

Most recent letter: 2 March 2023

Mr. Kevin Dykema
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Reston, Virginia

RE: Your March 2, 2023 article and email, When Am I Ever Going to Use This?

Dear Kevin:

The kids think practically, and they are boldly-and-increasingly asking that key question. In 2011 I began to address it and eventually we stopped it cold. I showed the students the mathematics of the universe!

We began with the Planck base units of length and time, calculated an expansion based on the assumption that there would be one sphere per unit of Planck Time and Planck Length, and we were off to the races. The result — our first Mathematics of the Universe chart:

It took awhile but we then emerged with a more comprehensive chart in 2016:

We started with our high school geometry classes and did a geometric progression, ostensibly base-2, going within by following the tetrahedrons and octahedrons. In 112 steps or notations we were down within the Planck base units. We also went out by doubling the edges each step. There were just 90 steps to the edges of the universe, or a total of just 202 base-2 notation to encapsulate everything, everywhere for all time.

Rather remarkable. We then tested these charts with an AP class within the sixth grade. It was enlivening. The kids for the first time saw the universe fully integrated with mathematics and geometries.

“You’ll use it everyday because you and this universe are equations and numbers and dynamics and you don’t want to miss out on all the fun of learning who you are and how you work! So now, let’s get to work!”

And, it worked most every time!

Best wishes to you in your new presidency!


Bruce Camber
(now so-called “retired” from the day-to-day classroom) 

Also see: First email to NCTM, September 10, 2020, 6:02 PM