Saturday, May 8, 2010

Paul Erdös Referred to Children as Epsilons*

Radio Lab is a fabulous radio show from WNZC. A program from October 2009 delves into numbers including the origin of Erdös numbers as well as some interesting stories of the idiosyncrasies of the prolific mathematician Paul Erdös, after whom the numbers were named. It is definitely worth a listen.

From Benford to Erdös

*The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, Paul Hoffman, Hyperion Press, 1998

The Amazing Power of Two!

This is a fun trick that kids can easily learn and wow their friends. It works because the chosen cards are in relative power of two positions guaranteeing that they will always land in the down position.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What math class? I dunno.

A recurring experience:

Question: "You are in the 10th grade? So, are you taking Geometry?"

Answer: "Yeah. I think. I don't know."

Question: "Could it be Algebra perhaps?"

Answer: "Yeah, I think that is it."

This actually happened, AGAIN, today when I was in town. It is mind boggling to imagine how a high school student is expected to do well in math when he/she doesn't even know what class they are enrolled in.

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