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Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Getting Graphic in the Data Deluge

April was Math Awareness Month with the theme, “Mathematics, Statistics, and the Data Deluge.” Massive amounts of data are collected every day. Decisions inferred from analyzing the data can impact our daily life. What you are wearing today may be such an example. Indeed, you got dressed with math. One particular way this is true […]

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Bracketology 101

Every year, people across the United States predict how the field of teams will play in the Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament by filling out a tournament bracket for the postseason play. Recently, Amy Langville and I published techniques of creating personalized brackets with math. This past week, I discussed these ideas as part […]

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Sum kiss!

Suppose this Valentine’s Day your sweetheart asks what you’d like as a gift. You innocently request, “How about you give me one kiss right now, twice as many in an hour and twice that the next hour?” Just one simple kiss right now, 2 kisses in an hour and 4 kisses in the next hour! […]

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Costly blink

In several hours, Super Bowl XLVI will begin. Sports fans will fall silent as the Giants and Patriots meet, yet again, in the championship game. Fans and not-so-strong-fans will turn and focus on the TVs, large and small alike, as the multimillion dollar adds will also air. This year, a 30 second commercial costs 3.5 […]

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I have dream in a cloud

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which honors and remembers the accomplishments of this influential and historic leader. My children enjoyed “King Day for Kids” activities at Davidson College, which sparked conversation about King, civil rights, and freedom. As I read my children’s self-authored books about freedom and civil rights, I thought about King’s […]

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Tebow time tweeting

If you didn’t see it live, you’ve seen it — again and again…yes, and again! The Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers were locked in a tie in their Wildcard game. Only 11 seconds of overtime were needed for Tim Tebow to throw the longest overtime touchdown pass in what then became the shortest overtime playoff […]

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

A Color Change Charm for Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley’s twin brothers Fred and George convinced him that the following poem was a Color Change Charm: “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” The incantation of the poem was supposed to turn Ron’s rat Scabbers yellow. All Ron got was teasing and snickering from his brothers! If linear algebra were […]

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

X marks the spot

This fall, I’ve been leading a seminar for the Charlotte Teachers Institute entitled, Math through Popular Culture. This Thursday will be our last session together. We will lead a Celebration of Mind event co-hosted by CTI, the Bernard Society of Mathematics at Davidson College, UNCC Math Department, the Charlotte Teachers Circle, and HHMI Outreach at […]

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Algebra for Angry Birds webinar

Yesterday, I recorded my first webinar. The process was much simplier than I anticipated. The results? Take a look for yourself and see what you think! The webinar is based on my previous blog posting on using the topic of polynomials as studied in many secondary algebra classrooms to play Angry Birds. Just click the […]

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

polynomials & Angry Birds

They’re a phenomenon! They’re addictive. They’re angry…really, angry! But, they’ll be happier when they see how math can help them. Yes, we’re going to use ideas often introduced in algebra, specifically polynomials, to help those Angry Birds take out their aggression on the sneaky pigs. Much of angry birds comes down to choosing the angle […]