A World of Mathematics

That’s the claim of Mathigon.  If you love mathematics (and who doesn’t), be prepared to spend all kinds of time at this web resource.

I actually stumbled into the World of Mathematics by accident but, wow, I’m so glad that I did.  I wa actually looking for some origami resources and fell into a link from the Mathigon website titled http://www.mathigon.org/origami/.  Like what so often happens, when I find a wonderful resource like this…

I’ll back off to the root of the website and poke around.

According to the About page, the site was designed by Philipp Legner and you only have to spend a few moments on the site to realize the passion for mathematics, particularly for the visual, that drives the design.  You’ll be exploring for hours.

Major categories of:

  • Symmetry and Space
  • Numbers and Patterns
  • Combinatorics and Logic
  • Probability and Games
  • Motion and Matter

open the doors for further exploration.

Who doesn’t like a good fractal?  Lots of gorgeous pictures when you explore.

And what would a good mathematics resource be without a discussion of the irrational pi?  My memory recalls 3.1415926 accurate to seven decimal places but that pales in comparison to the first 50 000 digits.

Mathigon has presence on all the major social networks including an extension for Google Chrome, if you’re so inclined.

Some of the resources are still under development.  Mathematics lovers, teachers, and students will definitely want to explore and keep reference to this site.  The site definitely digs into the topics deeply but I think that you’ll find a little something for everyone.


Fantastic Mathematics Resource

So, when Donna Fry gives an order, I do it!

The OAME (Ontario Association for Mathematics Education) has assembled a fabulous collection of mathematics resources that they’re calling mathies.ca.  It’s a really handy collection or games, tools, activities, and support pages for students and parents.

With all that’s assembled here, this should be the one stop resource for Ontario students and parents looking to bring mathematics into the home learning space.  If you’ve been a user of the CLIPS resources, you’ll recognize quite a few of the activities.  Heck, there may even be a few that you don’t recognize.  As a former OSAPAC Committee member, it was terrific to see links to The Geometer’s Sketchpad and Gizmos.  Some of these resources aren’t immediately usable as they’ll require a login / password to access since they are Ministry of Education licensed but instructions about how to get access to the codes are provided.

Some of the links let you download the software to work with locally.  Others run directly from the web.

As a mathematics lover, it’s just fun to play around with many of the activities.  So many of them are just fun to play with.

I’m always a sucker for a good calculator and I just had to check them out.  The computer science mentality naturally draws me to activities like taking the square root of a negative number or trying to divide by zero.  Just fun stuff that were standard for testing things…  I really like the ability to have quick access to a graphing calculator.  You do have to have Flash installed on your computer for some of the activities.  Hopefully, plans to develop for devices that don’t support Flash are under way.

This is an incredible collection of mathematics resources and, as Donna notes, needs to be shared widely.  Please take the time to do so.


Calculate This

Yesterday, I was drawn in by the title of this YouTube video.  “Did Usain Bolt REALLY run 100m in 9.63 seconds?“.  My original thought was this was another conspiracy theory created by some wacko.  It was raining so I devoted the seven and a half minutes to watching it.  From the get go, the math nerd in me really enjoyed the discussion.  The science dummy in me wondered about some of the claims.  Regardless, it was entertaining.

What was most interesting occurred at 5:32 into the movie.  The camera caught this on the screen.

How cool is that?  Amidst all of the high level mathematics discussion, our host uses Google’s calculator as part of his discussion.

Recently, it has had a big overhaul.  You can access it simply by asking Google to solve a mathematics expression.  So, I’ll just type 1+1 to get the answer and the full calculator appears on the screen.

If you live your computer live with a browser open, it’s a quick and easy way to do calculations and conversions.  Certainly, it is easier than poking around looking for the calculator application that came with your computer.  My only beef is that it’s an algebraic calculator.  I grew up using an RPN calculator for my serious stuff.  In fact, my greatest calculator ever was the HP-21.  I’d still use it but the battery has long since expired and the charging cable doesn’t work.

There are electronic emulators though.  I have a Flash version that I use for serious calculations and have downloaded an application for my iPad.

There is a learning curve in the beginning but the power and the time that can be saved using RPN is significant.

I’m hoping this post will bring a reply that shows how to use the Google calculator in RPN mode.  If not, maybe we can start a lobby!

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