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Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Maker some math

Preparing students today is preparing for the unknowns of tomorrow. Intellectual flexibility enables someone to adapt knowledge to emerging issues. For me, the college classroom should strive to prepare students for jobs not yet created or envisioned. How do we do this? We have been. The concepts we teach in the classroom introduce concepts, of […]

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Decimating Gollum

Last week, Henry Segerman visited from Oklahoma State. He presented a seminar for our undergraduates and also spoke about 3D printing with the public school teachers in my Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) seminar. It was a delightful and enlightening time. As you see below, we were all visually and intellectually treated by our time with […]

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Loving math and mime

In May, I was contacted by Ari Daniel regarding a series of radio pieces funded under the STEM Story Project to appear on the Public Radio Exchange. By August, Ari had contacted us and arranged meeting us at the MoMath MOVES conference in New York City. At the time, we had just returned from performing […]

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Finding Lightning in the Cloud

A picture is worth a thousand words, but could it also be worth a thousand searches or tweets to read? A few weeks ago when Pope Benedict XVI resigned, I sat in my office with a Davidson student discussing the news story. Neither of us knew much more than the historical decision being made. Wanting […]

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Raising the record to 138

On November 20, 2012, Grinnell College played Faith Baptist Bible College in a men’s basketball game that got the NBA’s attention. Why? Grinnell’s freshman guard, Jack Taylor scored an unbelievable 138 points. Soon, NBA stars were talking to reporters and tweeting about the game. LeBron James compared the college player to the likes of Kobe […]

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Tubular Topology

Yesterday, which would have have been Martin Gardner’s 98th birthday, I posted the article Tied in a Mathematical Knot to honor Gardner’s birthday and the Celebration of Mind events that are and will occur throughout the world. Ours at Davidson will be next month. The article was presented in the context of playing with rope […]

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Getting Mean about Bill Gates

Suppose you are at a Major League Baseball game and your friend is looking through binoculars for celebrities. Suddenly, your friend turns and comments, “Did you know that the average person at this game is a millionaire?” How would you respond? Who did your friend see in the stands? Turns out if Bill Gates, as […]

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Olympic Speed Limit

Just over a month ago, Usain Bolt electrified the Olympic track and field stadium in London as he won a second gold medal in the 100-meter dash. The New York Times published, in a stunning interactive graphic entitled One Race, Every Medalist Ever an analysis in which every Olympic medalist in the 100-meter sprint races […]

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Adding some texture

In the last post, we began a series on creating computer graphics with POV-Ray. In that post, we constructed balls of various solid colors like that below. Now, let’s wrap textures around them. For example, the image: can be created from the code: #include”” #include”” #include”” #include”” camera { location look_at } sphere { , […]

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Become your own Pixar

Computer generated images are created, as clearly indicated by their name, on computers. How do computers generate such lovely pictures? A key is math modeling – underneath such programs are models of the physical world that determine the color of a pixel on the screen based on the light and the physical characteristics of the […]