Posts tagged with teaching

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 […]

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”colors.inc” #include”textures.inc” #include”stones.inc” #include”woods.inc” 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 […]

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 […]

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Visualizing the numbers

Did you know that math helped pick your clothes today? Indeed, you dressed up with math! One particular way this is true relates to the clothes you buy in a store. Your choices are constrained by the selections in the store. To get a sense of what is “popular,” opinion groups rate products via surveys […]

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pi

How can a kiss help us learn Calculus? If you sit and reflect on answers to this question, you are likely to journey down a mental road different than the one we will traverse. We will indeed use a kiss to motivate a central idea of Calculus, but it will be a Hershey kiss! In […]

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Secret Codes with Math

Introduction This activity that I created with my wife, Tanya Chartier, is intended for classroom use. I have used it after performing my Mime-matics mime show that introduces mathematical ideas in classrooms. In particular, college students from Davidson College have traveled with me and led the activity following the presentation. In each case, it has […]