You can test your reaction time on THE REACTION TIME CLOCK HERE.
The following maths is suitable for Year 9+
but can be presented to lower grades just to show
maths is cool!
Even small children can think maths is hard work.
But it can be just as much fun as any other subject
if we use our imagination.
Maths does not have to be the UGLY DUCKLING
of school work.
You will find the background pattern here.
The absolute delight of Spurious Correlations is its craziness. Tyler Vigen is studying law at Harvard Law School, but he puts together the most ridiculous data you can imagine to show the correlation between eg. Per capita cheese consumption AND the number of people who died by getting tangled in their bed sheets, people who drowned after falling out of a fishing boat AND the marriage ration Kentucky. Of course, what Tyler is demonstrating is the basic maths principle, mathspiggies, that correlation is not causation. Here is one of his fabulous graphs:
Here is one graph from Spurious Correlati0ns (above) and the cover of Tyler’s New Book (below).
Math with Bad Drawings is run by Ben Orlin. He describes himself as ‘a math maths teacher in Birmingham, England. Before that, I taught in Oakland, California. I’ve taught (or am currently teaching!) every level of mathematics from ages 12 to 18.’
Not only is Ben’s humorous and fascinating take on maths interesting, his philosophy of life is worth a read too. e.g. We are all simultaneously experts and beginners, flaunting our talents while trying to cover our shortcomings the way an animal hides a wound.’
Here are two delightful examples of his maths with bad drawings:
Randall Munroe is a pro web cartoonist, maths nut and maths guru who answers crazy hypothetical questions using maths. His home website is xkcd.
His TED lecture is here.
Randall offers this warning to his KXCD blog: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). Of course, this makes his blog even more interesting. Maths, profanity and silly humour. Bring it on.
How What if? blog asks and answers interesting questions:
What would happen if I dug straight down, at a speed of 1 foot per second? What would kill me first?
Could a bird deliver a standard 20″ New York-style cheese pizza in a box? And if so, what kind of bird would it take?
Here is one example:
And his book What if? Can be found here.
The joy of Yan’s One Minute Math blog is his eclectic collection of topics from . Kow-Cheong Yan is a Singapore-based teacher, math consultant, math blogger and maths book author (Grade 1- 6).
The Lighter Side of Innumeracy gives an insight into maths incompetence and superstition in Singapore. It shows that charlatans can still prey on the innumerate. And Yan’s critique of Drill-and-Kill texts promoted in Singapore is refreshing in an age where politicians are forever calling for Back-to-basics teaching methods for maths.
But my favourite post on Yan’s blog is;
Mathematical Fiction is not optional. The number of novels using maths as a theme is inspiring especially with Yan adding a comment like this:
If you’re looking for math, women, sex, and back-stabbing, The Wild Numbers (Philibert Schogt) is a math melodrama unlikely to disappoint.
Mathjokes4mathyfolks is run by my good math(s) friend Patrick Vennebush, who lives in Virginia with his wife, twin boys and his Golden Retriever Remy. He loves math(s), laughing and telling jokes. He also runs online projects for National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Patrick believes math(s) should be fun and his blog includes jokes, problems and real-life challenges. His collection of jokes is published in a book and cover the gamete from cool to Dad-style jokes. Here’s an example:
Here are some examples from his blog:
Angle of Opportunity looks at the angle a boy should pee in the toilet bowl without splatter fallout!!!!
Here is Math Fail on Facebook. And here is the Math Fail blog run by Self proclaimed Math Geek Mike, who explains that in addition to math fails, you will find a huge collection of geeky math jokes, interesting math facts, dumb math news, puzzles, speed math advice, math related comics, funny math pictures and more!! (It is not a Cheeseburger Fail blog.)
It is just a fun blog to explore. Here are some examples.
Who can be offended? They’re just numbers!!!!
Debbie O’Sullivan’s pinterest stream Math Puns/Jokes is worth a visit or two.
The Math Cartoons & Humor is pinterest run by Jiji the penguin. Actually, the penguin didn’t do it. Jiji the penguin is the mascot of STMath, a commercial education system that teaches math visually, and with minimum language, in the USA. Here are some examples of the humor:
Mashup Math is mind blowing from its math philosophy to its eclectic approach. Anthony Persico runs MashUp Math. He has taught in NY, VA, and CO and runs a YouTube channel. He believes in inclusive math education,that all students learn math differently and that the one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective. The worksheets, teacher resources supplied via mathmashup are FREE!
Here is the Facebook link to Mathmashup:
This is a screen shot of his roller coaster youtube clip on gradient or slope!!!
Here is his Mathsmashup You Tube channel (above), which is designed to help visual learners.
Here are some amazing sports stats (above) from the LA Times. Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant’s 30,699th and final field goal came from 19 feet with 31 seconds left against the Utah Jazz. This picture below shows every one of the 30,699 goals he scored. AMAAAAAAZING!
Math Antics Youtube Channel is run by, Rob and Jeremy, who are both funny and clear in their maths clips, which are directed mainly at Middle school. The youtube lessons are free, but Rob and Jeremy do charge teachers US$20 for a year of worksheets.
Their Math Antics website is here.
Base 10 video screen grab.
Order of Operations Screen grab.
So Canada has a Prime Minister who not only understands Quantum Computers, he is really excited by the possibilities. And look at the blackboard behind him mathspiggies. That’s BIG TIME maths.
Grant Imahara (below), an engineering graduate, star of the TV show Myth Busters and more or less a Maths Rock Star himself, claims that bringing back esteem and awe for scientists and scientific studies will boost student interest in science and maths.
(Behind America’s Decline in Math, Science and Technology, USNEWS, 13 Nov 2013)
Justin Trudeau may just fit the bill. Justin is 44 years old. He first studied English Literature, graduating with a BA. After completing his BEd he worked as a teacher in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here is Justin in front of the blackboard. Look at the blackboard content.
It’s Middle School Maths!!!
Contrary to the general belief that Bachelor of Arts students don’t get maths, Justin went back to university and studied engineering. Then he tackled a Master’s Degree in Environmental Geography. He used his public profile to advocate for various causes and acted in the 2007 TV miniseries The Great War. He was elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and won the elections as leader of the Liberal Party in 2015, becoming Canada’s second youngest Prime Minister ever.
So Justin Trudeau really puts the GLAM in GEEK. He is a well-read actor, environmentalist, maths-geek Prime Minister. And a boxer too. We could do with a few more poiticians like him!!!
Then, maybe, all elections could be settled like this in the future!! Ha!