What can a math teacher find out about math from Twitter? I loved this Deb Costello post. I used to do the same thing before google shuttered real-time search. I loved pulling up “math” at the beginning of my classes to see all the post/updates that rolled in. It was always good for a laugh.
Math on the Web
I caught a really interesting article in Science about researchers using monkeys to try and understand how the mammalian brain represents numbers. Who knew monkeys can do so much math?
My father sent over this great article from the New York Times on using fair division to split up rent with roommates when all rooms aren’t equal. Not only is it a nice application of math that guarantees an “envy free” living situation, but the NYT did a bang up job with the graphics. There is a Wolfram like manipulative and they give you a calculator as well. Well done, NYT!
I would never wished to get mercilessly beat outside a bar, but if I did it would be awesome to become a math savant. Rob Clark sent me a wild story of a man named Jason Padgett. Padgett wrote a book about the experience of going from someone who went from having trouble to a number theorist in a short space of time, Struck by Genius. Thanks, Rob, for sending that my way!
I’m teaching the quadratic formula right now in my classes and just ran across this on my Tumblr. This is the number of google queries for the quadratic formula over time. As Charmed as Charmander says, “It repeats in the same pattern every year. Down in summer, up in September, down again in December and up again in spring time before going down again in the summer.” It makes sense that there is a pattern. It amazes me just how regular it is.
On the heels of UCONN’s surprising win, here is an article about a Davidson professor, who has created a whole course around the mathematics of bracketology. That is a course I’d love to take.
I just got back from the ICTCM math/tech conference. I had a great time and learned a lot. Two things I wanted to pass on. Both MyMathLab and Mathematica are going to be viewable on mobile devices. I had actually heard about MyMathLab for a while now. The news about Mathematica was new though. I’m really excited because you can create such amazing manipulatives for students. The problem has been that those manipulatives have been locked into Mathematica’s CDF format. And admittedly anyone can get a CDF viewer for free by downloading, but who wants to deal with that! I’ll be implementing it in my online classes a ton now.
I wish I could get this poster for my new office. Found on iMathmaticus.
Infinity has always been controversial for mathematicians. Scientific American has a great article on the continuing debate. These questions and dilemmas have a special place in my heart. It was the first part of mathematics I’d seen that was as interesting as philosophy, my first love. It is a good read. I hope you enjoy.