The Intermediate Value Theorem provides a theoretical basis for finding the roots of a continuous function. The Bisection Method starts with two x-values whose corresponding function values have a different sign (positive/negative or negative/positive). The Intermediate Value Theorem guarantees the existence of an x value between them with a function value of 0. Guessing the midpoint of the interval either finds the root or, more likely, is either positive or negative. Depending on the sign the root will either be to the left (or right) of the midpoint. Each iteration reduces the length of the interval in which the root is by half. I've put together some Python code to work through the algorithm, it's posted on the Python/Sage page. Copying the code into a Sage Cell Server gives the output above.

Here are some issues that caught my eye:

- The Washington Post has a piece about a, "mother, former teacher and full-time practicing attorney in New Jersey..." who is challenging a superintendent over opting out of Common Core. Get out of her way!
- Common Core wasn't ready to be implemented in my state and that led to a lot of teachers scrambling to develop the resources to implement the standards. Apparently other teachers have experienced something similar--but they're getting a little more help. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Representative Kurt Bahr doesn't want, "...educators, teachers and business leaders paying out-of-pocket to help develop Common Core replacement standards -- but to fix that, the state will have to shell out nearly $89,000 later this year."
- The Daily Signal reports on the pushback against Common Core in Mississippi and Wisconsin. From the article, "But as the deadline for implementation loomed closer, states began to realize the costs of adopting Common Core, both financial and in terms of their educational decision-making autonomy. By June 2014— two months before the implementation date— 19 states had either withdrawn from the tests or paused implementation of the standards."
- TechRadar gives Microsoft's Mathematics the thumbs up: "The program is a completely free complex calculator that has everything you'd expect on a small screened scientific calculator or graphical calculator just in a larger and more manageable screen without the tedious button combinations that have plagued regular plastic calculators."