I remember taking a Philosophy of Math class as an undergrad, and it was the first time I ran into the question, is math real? Or maybe a more nuanced way of putting it is, what kind of reality does it have? This video surveys the most popular theories. Warning, in case you have a lot to do today, you can wonder about this one a long time.
Math on the Web
I caught a great Planet Money podcast about the relative earning potential of different degrees. Engineering and applied math careers are always at the top of the these lists, but thanks to data from the last census, we are able to see just what the difference is. The graph above is a thumbnail sketch. I recommend listening to the podcast. The Planet Money team always does a fantastic job.
Estimation 180 is a great site for building estimation skill. I can see using this at the beginning of class to stimulate thought. Best of all the site works great on mobile devices.
Math Trail is a really interesting idea. It is an math themed scavenger hunt using google maps. There are different hunts you can do and they are centered on different mathematical themes. Check out the demo.
Units have been going through my mind a lot lately. I ran into this on Futility Closet. It made me speculate what a Hendree unit might be? Doesn’t everyone deserve a unit named after them? Any suggestions?
This is a cute Numberphile to use with your students. It is a short fun episode that explains the math behind some of the most common math jokes.
I will always remember reading the book Cadillac Desert. It was the first book that I read that was vividly able to contextualize really large numbers. Seeing this awesome new chrome extension reminded me of that experience. The Dictonary of Numbers will take any number you find on the internet and do exactly that for you: contextualize it. Check out the video.
I found this extension via my favorite tech tools blog: Free Technology for Teachers
The WolframAlpha Facebook app allows you to enjoy “the book” math-style. Network graphs, maps, posting frequencies. It is pretty awesome and a bit geeky. Enjoy.
I caught a Lifehacker article about a webapp that emulates the most popular graphing calculators. The app is called JsTIfied. I prefer a webapp like Desmos that is built for the web, not meant to emmulate hardware. But if you know the TI-83 inside and out or are nostalgic for those good old days, this might be for you.