Interviewer: Too funny. I can see myself being that parent. In grade school our teacher would mark it wrong if we didn’t convert improper fractions to mixed numbers.
Cartoonist: That’s the traditional school approach. However, mathematically, there’s nothing inappropriate about fractions greater than a whole. For many situations, such as when ratios are involved, an improper fraction is actually the more useful form.
Interviewer: I like how you are able to bring out so much character from just numbers.
Cartoonist: One of the objectives of this cartoon series is to let people befriend and experience mathematical ideas in new ways. Hopefully this will help break down some of the unfortunate stereotypes society has formed about this beautiful subject. In the words of the Fields Medalist William Thurston:
"Many people think of mathematics as austere and self-contained. To the contrary, mathematics is a very rich and very human subject, an art that enables us to see and understand deep interconnections in the world."
Interviewer: Wow. That’s powerful. Looking forward to befriending more math in the next Off the Number Line cartoon!