For those who seek something more practical out of such a discussion, Abbott explains that this understanding can allow for greater freedom of thought. One example is an improvement of vector operations. The current method involves dot and cross products, "a rather clunky" tool that does not generalize to higher dimensions. Lately there has been a renewed interest in an alternative approach called geometric algebra, which overcomes many of the limitations of dot and cross products and can be extended to higher dimensions. Abbott is currently working on a tutorial paper on geometric algebra for electrical engineers to be published in the near future. Explore further: Belgian wins Norway's $1 million Abel math prize
Teacher Kate Geisen found the Million Word essay idea to be an extremely valuable one. "It was a good initial contact with parents," added Kate Geisen. "It demonstrated to them that I cared about knowing who their children were. It gave me a heads up on student interests and family situations. And it gave parents a chance to share anything else they thought was important about their child and to brag on them a little. What parent doesn't like to shout to the world how wonderful their child is?"