Coryoth writes: Mathematics education has been subject to many fads over the decades, including New Math, and the resulting backlash against it. These days, however, math education in the US is moving more and more toward a highly applied approach, and an effort to "engage the student" by making math "relevant to them" and emphasising group work. The result has been a muddying of the math syllabus. This in turn is beginning to prompt a backlash. Indeed, math professors who actually look at public school texts are usually appalled by the lack of real content. Are these newer mathematics education programs detrimental to children's methodical analytic and logic skills, and what does this say for the future of US software programmers?