I had a fight with Euclid on the nature of the primes.
It got a little heated – you know how the tension climbs.
It started out most civil, with a honeyed cup of tea;
we traded tales of scholars, like Descartes and Ptolemy.
But as the tea began to cool, our chatter did as well.
We’d had our fill of gossip. We sat silent for a spell.
That’s when Euclid turned to me, and said, “Hear this, my friend:
did you know the primes go on forever, with no end?” …
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college. If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Let the mathematical fun begin…
By tradition, we start the carnival with a pair of puzzles in honor of our 58th edition. Click to download the pdf:
A Smith number is an integer the sum of whose digits is equal to the sum of the digits in its prime factorization.
Got that? Well, 58 will help us to get a better grasp on that definition. Observe:
58 = 2 × 29
5 + 8 = 13
2 + 2 + 9 = 13
And that’s all there is to it! I suppose we might say that 58′s last name is Smith. [Nah! Better not.]
What is the only Smith number that’s less than 10?
There are four more two-digit Smith numbers. Can you find them?
And now, on to the main attraction: the blog posts. Many articles were submitted by their authors; others were drawn from the immense backlog in my Google Reader. Enjoy!
Singing Banana (James Grime) recorded this video at the Mathematical Association annual conference dinner, 2011. I’ve shared it before, but that was over a holiday weekend, so many of you may have missed it. It relates, in a way, to our PUFM lesson this week.
The Engineer was away on a business trip, and Kitten and I were in the mood to veg out on YouTube, so I hunted for some golden oldies. We used to watch Square One TV faithfully, back when my eldest was in first grade. I can’t believe they haven’t released this show on DVD!
We found recordings of my two favorite songs (“Nine, Nine, Nine” and “8% of My Love”), but the picture quality was horrible. This video was the runner-up:
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Several of these articles were submitted by the bloggers; others were drawn from my overflowing blog reader. Don’t try to skim everything all at once, but take the time to enjoy browsing. Savor a few posts today, and then come back for another helping tomorrow or next week.
In the course of my bloggy spring cleaning, I’ve made some terrible discoveries. Some of my favorite resources have disappeared off the internet. Or perhaps they’ve moved, and I just haven’t found their new homes.
Do you know where these websites went?
A Very Short History of Mathematics
This irreverant romp through the history of mathematics by W. W. O. Schlesinger and A. R. Curtis was read to the Adams Society (St. John’s College Mathematical Society) at their 25th anniversary dinner, Michaelmas Term, 1948.
The Best of Blog project has become the monster that ate my life, but I am determined to finish the thing. [It's done! :D] Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the chance to explore long-forgotten blog posts. If you’d like a laugh, try some of these…
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! We accept entries from anyone who enjoys playing around with math, as long as the topic is relevant to students or teachers of preK-12th grade mathematics.
Some articles were submitted by their authors, other were drawn from the back-log in my blog reader, and I’ve spiced it all up with a few math jokes courtesy of the Mathematical humor collection of Andrej and Elena Cherkaev.
Are your students doing anything special for Day? After two months with no significant break, we are going stir crazy. We need a day off — and what better way could we spend it than to play math all afternoon?
Could this be my 500th post? That doesn’t seem possible, even counting all those half-finished-and-then-deleted drafts. Well, at least it is my 500th something, according to the WordPress.com dashboard. And surely a 500th anything is worth a small celebration, right?
Maybe my students aren’t so bad, after all…
It has been awhile since I posted a link to Rudbeckia Hirta’s Learning Curves blog. Here are a few of her students’ recent bloopers:
Things are still hectic, but at least the phone company guy found the problem and got our “extended DSL” service working. “Extended DSL” is what you get when you live out in the boonies. No guarantees that it will be faster than the ancient modem, but at least it doesn’t tie up the phone line anymore.
And it is a bit faster, so I finally get to enjoy You Tube. If the video doesn’t display properly, you can find it at this link:
This paper was read to the Adams Society (St. John’s College Mathematical Society) at their 25th anniversary dinner, Michaelmas Term, 1948. [Warning: Do not attempt to read this while drinking coffee or other spittable beverage!]
Registrations have been rolling in for our homeschool co-op, and the most popular classes are full already. Math doesn’t seem to be a “most popular” class. I can’t imagine why! Still, many of my students from last year are coming back for another go, and I am getting spill-over from the science class waiting list.
Anyway, I have started planning in earnest for our fall session. As usual, I look to those wiser than myself for inspiration…
Many teachers are concerned about the amount of material they must cover in a course. One cynic suggested a formula: since, he said, students on the average remember only about 40% of what you tell them, the thing to do is to cram into each course 250% of what you hope will stick.
Hat tip: These had gotten lost in the dustbunnies of my memory until I saw the Frivolous Theorem mentioned recently at Art of Problem Solving.
Edited to add: Scott at Grey Matters recently updated his Mathematical Humor post, which may be where I had originally read these. He links to several more great MathWorld jokes, including the ever-tasty Pizza Theorem.
Our whole family is coming down with something again. What a nuisance!
Since I don’t feel up to real cleaning, I guess it’s time to spruce up my sidebar. If you haven’t posted since November or December of last year, you’re outta there. And for those of you who use Blogger — well, I’m sorry, but if I get a persistent “Blogger: 404 – Page Not Found” then you’re gone, too. If you are still actively blogging, please send me an email.