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The impact of mathematics in our society is amazing, but when people talk about their personal experiences in math class, more often than not, they express a general difficulty with learning mathematics and with appreciating its relevance. Even people who were successful at mathematics often do not see a connection between mathematics and its practical use.

For most people, learning mathematics only in the abstract is not effective. Students typically understand best when concepts are tied to the real world or presented visually. We believe that meaningful applications and visualization of important concepts are pathways to success in mathematics.

To better see the relevance of mathematics, students not only need to look at the individual “trees” but they also need to see the whole “forest”. That is, students not only need to study the details, but they also need to grasp the big picture. Both points of view are necessary.