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The Coolest New Thing on the Internet

Two brief announcements. First, the coolest new thing on the internet. This is an interactive update to the old powers of 10 video, and the kind of thing you can spend a lot of time trying to get your brain to comprehend. Beautiful, simple, and elegant. Also, a little uncanny. Considering our true proportion in the universe is discomfiting. A …

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Wolfram, computer-based math, “and making maths beautiful”

I’ve had Conrad Wolfram on my mind for some time. He gave a TED talk on computer-based math a while back, and just gave an updated talk at Learning Without Frontiers. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsWKyFg9IdM His premise is challengingly obvious: teaching should be motivated by good problems, and they should use every tool at their disposal to solve them. In …

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Math Pickle

There are a lot of great websites on math education, but some really stand out. I’m happy to report a new one which promises to be an incredible resource: mathpickle.com. In particular, Dr. Gord–who runs the site–has produced some beautiful activities for math classrooms that feature solvable forays into unsolved problems. The emphasis on elegant graphical design and solid mathematics …

Revisiting a Beautiful Puzzle on a 5 by 5 grid

Hi Everyone! We’ve been away for the holidays, but back now, and looking forward to diving back into the deep end. While we’re gearing up, I thought I’d share a quick link to a lovely puzzle without words of James Tanton’s. I saw him present this at a Julia Robinson Festival in Houston, and was impressed enough to use the …

Paper folding record broken!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/12/05/143150449/record-folders-54-000-feet-of-paper-13-folds-one-new-standard James Tanton and his students just broke the paper folding record! Follow the link for the story!

Math for Love activities in January

Lots in development for January, so here goes: We’re offering circles and classes all over town for kids grade K – 10, including a class for K-1 children and their parents at the Robinson Center (Nurturing the Math Instinct), and a pair of classes for 6th and 7th graders at Seattle Central Community College on Saturday mornings (Outmaneuver! and Billiard …

Math Salons scheduled, plus a great new look at vast amounts of dollars

Happy post-Thanksgiving! To all Seattlites looking for a math-rich event for kids, we’ve finally got some Math Salons on the calendar, starting in January. Interested in joining us? Just rsvp, and we’ll see you there. In other news, Randall Munroe recently created this incredibly dense poster of information, tracking money, how much of it there is, and what it gets …

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The Dr Square Puzzle

One of my students yesterday shared an idea with me that he had kicking around in his head for a while, which he called continued multiplication. Essentially, he used the steps in a multiplication process as an iterative process to give him a new multiplication problem, which he would loop again and again. We clarified some of the rules (too …

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Two great, idiosyncratic problem sources online

Two problems have been floating around in my head lately, and it’s only fair to share them, and let you know where I got them. Imagine this: You have four bottles of liquid. One of the bottles contains a poison strong enough to kill a rat by morning if the poison is taken at night. Only a little bit of …

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“Nothing is more attractive to me than a muddled domain awaiting its first theory. I feel most at home with a jumble of glittering data and the feeling that they might be fitted together for the first time into some new pattern. This inclination made me especially compatible with mathematicians. I became fascinated with the way they think, why they …