Letter From The National Science Foundation and National School Board

Dear Mr. Waltz,

Thank you for your letter and demonstration copies of the intriguing Radius Ruler.  Since mathematics teaching is my area of special interest, our Division Director, Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, asked me to write with some thoughts about how you can get your patented invention known by and marketed to the broad community of mathematics teachers.

The best way to get information about the Radius Ruler to the mathematics teachers likely to be interested in it is through the professional journals of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, an organization with nearly 100,000 members.  I suspect that you could collaborate with an experienced middle or high school mathematics teacher to write an article for Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School or The Mathematics Teacher.  An effective article would probably draw on the information at your web site to explain how the device works and how it might be used for teaching concepts of circles and curvature.

While the design is a fascinating invention (that I’ve personally not seen before), it strikes me that the mathematical explanation of the specific design you provided is (perhaps intentionally) non-trivial.  This might bother some potential users (the design principles of rulers and protractors are more straightforward), but others might be intrigued to figure out the Radius Ruler design for themselves.

As for marketing the device to mathematics teachers, you will find that there are quite a few companies that sell a wide range of ‘mathematical tools.’  The easiest way to identify them is at the exhibits of the NCTM annual meeting (this year in San Diego).  Some will be large enough enterprises to advertise in the NCTM journals, but there are many more that have exhibits at the annual meeting.

Best wishes for success with your invention.

James Fey, Program Officer

Discovery Research K-12