Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Author Cindy Neuschwander, an elementary and high school math teacher, decided there weren’t enough storybooks about math for children. So, she started writing her own and now has eight published. She is now a third-grade teacher. All Giza Pyramids in one shot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry, uses the theme of Egyptian pyramids to introduce solid shapes. Though children don’t quite realize it, they are learning that some of the characteristics of solid shapes are the number of sides, or faces, they have, and the number of edges and corners, or vertices. To children... (Read More ...)

Animated fractal mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Fractals If you try to measure something irregular, like the coastline along a creek, you will find that the shorter the measuring unit you use, a one-foot long stick instead of a three-foot-long yardstick, for example, the longer the thing will be, infinitely. Normally, in geometry, you measure something that is curved, by setting a straight line against the curve and using more and more straight lines around the curve until you can approximate the length of the curve. With something that is shaped irregularly, though, this doesn’t work. This... (Read More ...)

Toothpick Puzzles   I recently listened to a recovered recording of “Feynman’s Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun,” explaining why planets travel in ovals not circles. Richard Feynman was a physicist, a professor at Caltech, and author of the best-selling autobiographies, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” as well as “What Do You Care What Other People Think.” In his stories about his early years, Feynman talks about learning puzzle jokes at an early age. He started collecting them. Collecting toothpick puzzles might be a similarly interesting hobby. Recent... (Read More ...)