A mathematics rabbit hole

Let me tell you about a rabbit hole I went down yesterday.

I’m a sucker for things like this.  Low entry point and it pushes the reaches of my memory … the time in mathematics and mathematical themes.  The site is called “Nonexamples” and is only described by this visual.

Screenshot 2018-10-16 at 07.09.07

So, ever curious, off I went.  I could have chosen from a list of topics …

Screenshot 2018-10-16 at 07.06.19

But I stuck with “Random” and asked the site to generate me nonexample questions.

Screenshot 2018-10-16 at 07.05.59

or

Screenshot 2018-10-16 at 07.20.57

What I found oddly engaging was that there was no score keeping.  Just a “Correct” or “Try again”.  And, there was no penalty to avoiding a question and ask for another one.

There was no tutorial; there was no lecturing at me like you find so often in computer activities.

There was no playing against some face or faceless person across the miles.  It was just me and my finger.

There was no timer.  I actually put my laptop down and went to get another coffee and the same question was sitting there waiting for me to return.

I set a goal of getting five in a row correct.  Then 10.  Then 15.

It was just mathematics for the fun of mathematics.  Obviously, there was a great deal of mathematical thought and knowledge that went into the design and that wasn’t lost on me.  It was secondary to just playing though.

In a world where there are so many things beating you over the head about the importance of mathematics and of testing and of authentic real-world examples and all of the other things that can turn you off, it was strangely so much fun.

Most of the concepts were things that I knew but there were some interesting new twists to discover.  Once discovered, I had that important “Ah hah!” moment.

You’re not going to base a unit of study on it but I could see it being a fun little ice breaker for the beginning of a class.

You can’t ask for better than that.

 

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