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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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. Pétard 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.
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.