18
Nov 13

Love and Math

love and math

I caught a really promising book review for Love and Math by Edward Frenkel in the New York Times. I’m already 10 books behind on my reading list right now, but I think it’s about to be 11.


11
Nov 13

Math + Art

bianca chang

Here is an artist I feel certain will move your mathematical little heart. Check out Bianca Chang’s stunning gallery site. I came by it thanks to Chad Wys on Tumblr.


04
Nov 13

Math + Jokes

sad parallel lines

I get sent math jokes all the time. Just check my FB wall. I feel like I’ve seen them all. This was new to me though. Kinda sweet and funny? Thanks, Sue, for sending it my way.


28
Oct 13

Is Math Real?

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.


21
Oct 13

PBS Math Channel

There is a new PBS math channel on YouTube I learned about from Free Tech for Teachers. The content level is pretty basic, but it could be a nice review for students. I know a number of my algebra students still struggle with integer operations. I especially like the quiz video above. Very clever use of a YouTube video. The production quality, being PBS, is also a bit higher than a lot of the math videos around.


16
Oct 13

Swing it, Baby!

Here is a way to factor trinomials that I’d never seen before. It came my way via the tutoring center. I’m working on a proof, but it seems really convincing. Check it out. It is a lot easier than the reverse foil or AC-methods. Does anyone know who came up with it?


07
Oct 13

Infinite Chocolate

chocolate bar

This gif (double click to play) came up in my google+ feed this morning and was bugging me out. Luckily I found this post to explain the trick. The area of the missing piece is sufficiently spread out to make the the smaller area seem visually similar to the original area.


30
Sep 13

Will Dan Meyer Ever Stop Being Awesome?

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 2.42.42 PM

Modeling is one of those things that we all want to put in our classes, but so many of the pre-made activities stink. But check out this activity that Dan Meyer put together with the help of Desmos.


23
Sep 13

How to Catch a Lion with only a Graduate Degree in Math or Physics

This is an all-time classic math gag that I wasn’t even aware of until Lee at Prime Puzzle sent it over. Ralph P. Boas Jr. under the pseudonym H. P├ętard published this lark, A Contribution To The Mathematical Theory Of Big Game Hunting. The subtitle should be How to Catch a Lion with only a Graduate Degree in Math or Physics. He outlines 9 methods from mathematics, 4 methods from theoretical physics, and 3 method from experimental physics.

Here is a an example from math:
The Bolzano-Weierstrass Method. Bisect the desert by a line running N-S. The lion is either in the E portion or in the W portion. Bisect this portion by a line running E-W. The lion is either in the N portion or in the S portion. We continue this process indefinitely, constructing a sufficiently strong fence about the chosen portion at each step. The diameter of the chosen portions approaches zero, so that the lion is ultimately surrounded by a fence of arbitrarily small perimeter.

Check out all the methods over at Lee’s site.


15
Sep 13

Show Me the Money?

majors-earnings 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.