Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.
According to the latest data from the Program for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 26th in the world in math attainment.
Not so great for the world’s richest country, especially when you consider that 46 percent of all jobs require at least level 3 math skills — enough so that you can make change.
About 36 percent of all jobs require a level 4 math proficiency to do simple averages — something about 76 percent of Americans can do.
Beyond that, math skills drop off quickly.
Reporter Ari Daniel has the story of Tim Chartier, a math professor and mime who, with his wife Tanya Chartier, is trying to make math more relevant to a wider audience — without words.
This story comes to us from the STEM Story Project, distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.