Lots of people love the name “Mathalicious.” Students decorate their laptops with Mathalicious stickers. Teachers stroll the streets in Mathalicious t-shirts. We’ve even seen photos of babies in Mathalicious onesies. (They’re adorable.) “Mathalicious” is a great name, and it’s hard to say goodbye to it.
But say goodbye we must. And here’s why.
We’re at a worrisome moment in human history. Fueled by partisan news and ideology-reinforcing social media, more and more humans are exposed to a narrower and narrower sliver of reality. The purpose of our lessons is to put students and teachers in a position to use mathematics to discuss real issues in society, from climate change to opiate addiction, the impact of municipal fines on people with different incomes to the acceleration of technology. Mathematics is a powerful tool, and we believe the math classroom is the perfect place for students to explore the world around them, to analyze it rigorously, and to debate it respectfully. At this fragile moment, we need to kindle these behaviors more than ever, and math teachers are the perfect ones to show us how. By challenging students to think critically about real life and ground their reasoning in evidence and facts, math teachers can inspire a new generation of mathematical citizenship.
This is the mission that we've always existed to serve. But our name didn't always reflect it. That's why we're changing it. The name "Mathalicious" was catchy and fun. The name "Citizen Math" is hopeful and true. Citizen Math represents the kind of reason-minded person that we can all endeavor to be...and which math educators can help us become.
Fear not. We’ll make new t-shirts. And stickers. And maybe even onesies. And when we do, we hope you'll wear them with pride: not simply in recognition that math is fun, but even more as a reminder that math is powerful.