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\(-e^{i\pi}\) to Watch: Eddie Woo

In this series of posts, we’ll be featuring mathematical video and streaming channels from all over the internet, by speaking to the creators of the channel and asking them about what they do.

We spoke to Eddie Woo, author of the YouTube channel Wootube.

Photo of Eddie Woo. He is a smiling Asian man with glasses, wearing a shirt and tie.

Channel title: Wootube
Topics covered: High school mathematics – algebra, geometry, calculus, vectors, statistics, the whole range!
Average video length: 10 minutes
Recommended videos: Learning with Wootube – video produced by YouTube; The Magical Disappearing Square; Why is 0! equal to 1?What is the number “e” and where does it come from? 

What is your channel about, and when/why did it start?

I am a high school mathematics teacher and my channel almost entirely consists of videos that I recorded during my everyday classroom lessons. I started in 2012 because one of my students was diagnosed with cancer and had to miss months of school, so this was my way of helping him to keep on learning even when he couldn’t attend class.

Promotional photo for Eddie's channel. He's wearing a purple shirt, standing in a math classroom and holding up some clear plastic polyhedra.

Who are you, and what do you do?

I’ve been teaching mathematics in Sydney, Australia for 15 years. I also write books about mathematics and work for a university where I lecture for future teachers . Here in Australia I’ve also hosted a couple of TV shows, mostly where mathematics and young people are involved (more info about all of the above on my website).

Who is the intended audience for the channel?

It was originally intended for high school students, but I’ve since found that many people who watch have finished school and want to know what on earth all those years of lessons were all about. I know that parents also watch to help their children with their homework. I’m also really happy that other teachers from around the world have also found my videos and I even started a second channel that is aimed specifically at educators.

Why should people watch? Why is your channel different to other mathematical video channels?

Probably the thing that is unusual about my videos is that they are filmed in a live classroom context. My students are a part of the video because there is dialogue back and forth between my class and I throughout the lesson. I think that my students being there is often what makes my explanations clearer, because I can test to see if things are making sense by using their reactions and input as my guide.

What are some highlights of the channel so far?

My work has gained some attention – so I was listed as one of the Top 10 finalists in the 2018 Global Teacher Prize, and I was invited to give a TED talk that’s now received 3 million views.

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