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Could this be our new Maths Rock Star?

April 18, 2016

Could this be our new Maths Rock Star?

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.

 GrantImahara350x350

“We need rock stars. In the 60s astronauts were rock stars … Everyone wanted to be an astronaut” said Imahara.

(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.

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Screen shot 2016-04-18 at 1.15.16 PM

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!!!

la-fg-canada-justin-trudeau-20151020

Then, maybe, all elections could be settled like this in the future!! Ha!

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10 CRAZY CREATIVE MATHS BLOGS

April 14, 2016

10 CRAZY CREATIVE MATHS BLOGS

Background pattern found here.

1.

1. Creative blog Mathspig

Botanica Mathematica is a Mathematical knitting blog  with patterns included run by Dr Julia Collins and Haggis the Sheep.

 

1a Creative Mathspig

1b Creative mathspig

 2.

2. Creative blogs Mathspig

 

 The Mathematician’s Shirts! is a creative maths blog run by Julia Collins and Madeleine Shepherd. Yes! The same Julia Collins as above. It is a small collection of shirts but Big on imagination and this project is something middle school students could tackle using an old shirt. More on Flikr here.

 

 2a. Tending towards hyperbolic by Madeleine

 3.

3. Creative blog Mathspig

The Division by Zero blog is very mathsy. Seriously mathsy. It is run by David Richeson, Professor of Mathematics at Dickinson College. Even though it involves tertiary level maths it is full of curiosities about maths such as this gem below:

Screen shot 2016-04-14 at 1.25.41 PM

 

 

I particularly loved the post about Gabriel’s Horn:

3a Creative Maths

And pictures of Gabriel’s horn made out of paper cones. Gabriel’s horn is the surface obtained by revolving the curve y = 1/x for x> or = 1/2 about the -axis. Mathematics professors ‘wow’ introductory calculus students by sharing its paradoxical properties: it has finite volume, but infinite surface area. As they say, “you can fill it with paint, but you can’t paint it.”

 

The Golden Arches get a working over as well. Are they based on a parabola, Catenary (strung up chain hanging under it’s own weight) or other. It turns out it is other … the Golden Arches fit an ellipse.

3b Macdonalds maths mathspig

 4.

4. Creative blog Mathspig

Visualising Math is a terrific Tumblr feed run by Monica Anuforo and Casey M. both college maths students from Minnesota, USA. I think Monic’a comments on the blog tell us all how important it is to engage Middle School students.

 

Monica Anuforo: Hello! I’m an 19 year old Nigerian-American female. Obviously, I’m a fan of mathematics. I was one of those people who were lucky enough to find out that MATH IS AWESOME as early as middle school as opposed to later in life.

 

4a Creative maths

 

The Tumblr feed is a fabulous collection of mathematical images including fractals, gifs and jokes. Some of these images (See below) could be drawn, coloured or constructed by Middle School students so they too can discover that maths is awesome!!!

4b Creative maths

 

 

 5.

5. Creative blogs Mathspig

Math for Lovers is an anonymous Tumblr feed run by Kcmr. It is an eclectic collection of maths art, gifs and jokes. While it hasn’t been updated for awhile the images are still worth exploring. Here are just two:

5a Creative Faig Ahmed

Faig Ahmed is an internationally recognized artist from Baku, Azerbaijan, who represented Azerbaijan at the Venice Biennale in 2007. He is well known for his conceptual works that utilize traditional decorative craft and the visual language of carpets into contemporary sculptural works of art.

5c Creative Cut and paste novel wall art

Cut and paste novel wall art at etsy.

You have to love a maths blog that announces:

This is why geometry is important kids. It can blow your mind.

This is a brilliant clip of Klemens Torggler’s kinetic art door based on rotating squares. The special invention makes it possible to move the object sideways without the use of tracks.

 6.

6. Creative blogs mathspig

Math is Beautiful,a maths tumblr stream, is oldish and seriously mathsy but some of the stunning visual images and interesting gifs would intrigue Middle school students. e.g. The image below is a screen grab of a circle of dots that rolls around the circumference inside a bigger circle …. but … but .. but … the gif shows that the dots actually only move along the diameters marked. Fas-kin-ating!

6a. Creative Mathspig

 

6b. Creative Mathspig

 

Here is another screen shot (above) of a gif tagged ‘I cannot stop staring at this. Try it. Your mind will be taken over by a higher power.

 7.

7. Creative Blogs Mathspig

The Advanced Geometry Tumblr stream is a stunning visual feast combining art, geometry and design. By art I mean … could be arty but naked bodies. But exploring the imagery is simply inspiring.

7a Randomly Generated Polygonal Insects

 

Randomly Generated Polygonal Insects by ‘Istvan’ for NeonMob

 8.

8. Creative blog Mathspig

Susan Lombardo created the Math and Fiber blog for students in an upper division college geometry course. The beauty of this blog it gives step by step instructions on how to create a crocheted coral reef, adds the maths behind the project and many interesting links.

8a

CONSERVATION CROCHET Project at the University of Washington

8b Gabrielle Meyers’ Hyperbolic Surfaces

And Gabrielle Meyers’ Hyperbolic Surfaces

 9.

9. Creative blogs Mathspig

Hyperbolic Crochet Blog

9a

Also check out Hyperbolic Crochet Blog of a Palestinian Maths teacher. Daina Taimina combines math education, knitting and crochet and her love of art in her book Crocheting Adventures with the Hyperbolic Planes. This blog also provides a fascinating looking at math taught in a different language and script!!!!!!

9b

 10.

10. Creative blogs mathspig

The Virtual Math Museum links you to some of the most fabulous maths artists in the world including:

10a

Brian Johnston and his Hydrogen Orbital (above)

10b

and Luc Bernard and his Kuen’s Surface:

A Meditation on Euclid, Lobachevsky, and Quantum Fields.

 

 

And more ….

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10 Amazing RANDOM Maths Blogs

April 5, 2016

Happy SR Day

It is Mathspig’s Mission to bring you news of some of the most practical, inspiring and intriguing maths blogs, tumblr posts and Twitter feeds out there in the blogosphere. And what a great day to do this. Happy Square Root Day people! (from Mathematica Curiosa below)

 

Happy Square Root Day

The following blogs et al fall into the RANDOM but totally intriguing category. Enjoy! 

1. 1 logo Radom Mathspig

The background pattern is antagonist from here.

When not writing and hosting Quick and Dirty Tips’ Math Dude podcast, Jason Marshall works as a research scientist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) studying the infrared light emitted by starburst galaxies and quasars. Here he is as The Maths Dude:

 

And here he is as an Astrophysicist dude:

1. Random Mathspig

 

 

 

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2.

2. Logo RAndom Mathspig

Curiosa Mathematica is run by Jens Bossaert. It shows extraudinary images such as the animation by two cubes  showing the roots of the polynomials x⁵ + tx + 1 and x⁵ + tx² + 1  as t varies. (Shown without animation below) I’d tell you lots more about Jens except his homepage is in Dutch!!!

2. Random Mathspig

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3.

3. Logo Random Mathspig

LIFE THROUGH A MATHEMATICIAN’S EYES is a tumblr feed run anonymously but fabulously by a self-described ‘professional mathematical concept disrupter’ who ‘believes that the study of mathematics is like air or water to our technological society’.

3b Random Mathspig

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4.

4. Logo Random Mathspig

Try and Touch My Asymptote  Got Math? is an annonymous Tumblr stream that is a popouri of all sorts of maths brick-a-brack such as the treasure below..

4. RAndom Mathspig

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5.

5. Logo Random Mathspig

Into The Continuum is self-described as a perspective on mathematics, the pattern, and the abstract. This anonymous Tumblr feed not only provides amazing moving patterns, it gives you the code as well. Awesome!!! Here is one, sadly stationary, pattern below.

5a. RAndom Mathspig

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6.

6. Logo Random Mathspig

Robert Kaplinsky has worked in education since 2003 as a classroom teacher, district math teacher specialist, and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) instructor. He uses maths to answer some really intrguing questions such as the one below. ‘What was the fastest motorcycle speeding ticket ever?’ is pretty scary!!!!!!!

6. Random Mathspig

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7.

7. Logo Random Mathspig

Math Prof for Life Tumblr stream uses random comments linked to hilarious gifs. The prof knows, he really knows, how maths students feel … on a bad maths day.

7a Random Mathspig

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 10.45.01 AM

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8.

8. Logo Random Mathspig

The Reflective Educator is the Tumblr stream of David Wees, a Canadian Maths teacher. His web page is full of all sorts of interesting reflections on how to teach maths.

8b RAndom Mathspig8c Random Mathspig

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9.

9. Logo RAndom Mathspig

Center of Math is an anonymous Twitter feed which is a glad bag of maths ideas, suggestions, diversions and jokes. Intersesting stuff. Here rre some fab examples of posts.

9a RAdom Mathspig

9b Random Mathspig

It’s a pun … maths pun. (Hint: A little fishy.)

9c Random Mathpsig

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10.

10. Logo RAndom MathspigMath Jokes Twitter is literally an endless stream of maths jokes. Who knew there were so many?  And what better way to start the day than with a maths joke. Here are a couple.

10b Random Mathspig

10c Random Mathspig

 

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When Pi Day is sooooo Embarrassing

March 10, 2016

Mathspig Pi Day

In Australia we don’t get too carried away with 14 March aka Pi Day aka 3.14.16 because, unlike Americans,  we do not write the date as 3/14/16. We prefer 14/3/16.

No problem.

Meanwhile Mathspig called her upcoming talk for the International Congress of Mathematical Education 2016 in Hamburg:

How many m&ms would kill a 14-year-old? Making middle-school maths real, relevant, deadly serious and π-in-your-face funny!

Then  odd emails arrived relabelling my talk  ‘…….. p-in-your-face funny!’

I thought it was a typo. Not so! The Germans, the Dutch and other European countries do not call π ‘Pi’, they call it ‘P’ or ‘Pee’ because ‘i’ is pronounced ‘ee’, for instance, in German. So I had called my great international maths talk Pee-in-your-face funny! And the German organising committee seemed happy enough with the title.

To be diplomatic and to avoid the attracting the wrong type of audience I’ve retitled my talk:

How many m&ms would kill a 14-year-old? Making middle-school maths real, relevant, deadly serious and ha^2 funny!

So Happy π Day English speakers and now, for a laugh, look at some of our Pi or Pee jokes through the eyes of, say, a German.

Mathspig Happy Pi Day Europe

Pi Day 2

That’s because of the beer.

Pi-Day

One whole day dedicated to pi.

It’s epic!

Pi Day 3

Mathematicians in love .., awwww!

So cute or they’re pissed.

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Pi Day 4

OK. ‘I 8 sum pi’ but adding the ‘delicous’ makes this weird for a German. D’Oh!

pi Day 5

Very expensive bottle of pi.

Pi day 6

Mmmm! Pecan pi.

Pi Day 8

Rabbit Pi must be a problem.

Pi Day 10

Dessert wine, maybe?

Pi Day 9

That’s, like, every day after a night out on the ‘piss’ as we so delicately call it in Australia.

pi Day 11

You too can have tasty pi. I don’t know how and frankly, I don’t want to know.

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MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig …………………………………………………. with Kerry Cue

March 1, 2016

 

1. MATHSPIG CUBISTHellooooooooo My Sweet Little Picassos,

Mathspig has gone, like, totally Cubist this month. You too can turn any portrait of yourself into a Cubist Master piece (See Mathspig portrait above), here.

Mathspigs maths friends, Lyn and Erwin, who I met at the 13e Salon Culture & Jeux Mathematique, Paris, have sent me a reminder about their amazing Cryptocube construction kit (Mathspig is twirling one above) . This is not for the faint hearted. It’s a Big Maths challenge, but well worth the investment especially for schools. You can learn more about the Zometool Cryptocube construction kit here.

Meanwhile, here are links to 10 Amazing Ways to See a Cube:

1. Tube Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2. Folded Paper Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

3. Anamorphic Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

4. Floating Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

5. Street Art Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

6. EDIBLE CUBE

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

7. GIANT CUBE

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

8. Spaghetti Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

9. Fashion Cube

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

10. CUBIC BUBBLE

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Toodles

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Mathspig

 

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1. Tube Cube

February 17, 2016

10 Amazing ways to see a cube

The Tube Cube is made from straws and hat elastic (Steps 1 – 9 below). The effect is quite amazing. The TUBE CUBE can then be used to make a CUBIC BUBBLE here.

Don’t show your Middle School students these instructions. Just give them access to some straws, hat elastic, rulers and scissors and ask them to make and then photograph their cube. That’s the challenge Mathspiggies. But the end result (See  Step 9) is awesome.

Mathspig Cube 1.1

Mathspig Cube 1.2

Mathspig Cube 1.3

Mathspig Cube 1.4

Mathspig Cube 1.5

Mathspig Cube 1.6

Mathspig Cube 1.7

Mathspig Cube 1.8

Step 8: The TUBE CUBE can be flatened into a hexagon.

Mathspig Cube 1.9

Step 9: The TUBE CUBE can be turned into an art work. This pic was taken in daylight.  The cube was positioned at an angle on a black sheet of paper with one corner set in Blu Tack. WOW!

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2. Folded Paper Cube

February 15, 2016

10 Amazing ways to see a cube

You can find a number of ways to fold an origami cube on the web. Jeremey Shafer will show you how to fold a seamless cube (below) here.

It’s a bit tricky. Wikihow has very clear instructions on how to fold a simple paper cube here. 

Screen shot 2016-02-15 at 3.39.33 PM

But, Mathspig prefers the paper cube designed by Phillip Stromberg of the Netherlands.His cube calendar (below) comes inside one of these paper cubes. This was a very spooky calendar as Mathspig could see her life disappearing in front of her eyes for one whole year. ARrrrgh!

Stromberg Cube Calendar

Here is the way to fold a Phillip Stromberg cube:

Mathspig Cube 2.1

Step 1: Draw up a grid on cardboard 7 x 6 square.

Mathspig used 8 cm squares on paper. Cardboard would make a stronger cube.

Mathspig Cube 2.2

Step 2: Count of squares and draw this pattern.

Mathspig Cube 2.3

Step 3: Cut out the cube template.

Mathspig Cube 2.4

Step 4: Use scissors to score all folding edges.

Mathspig Cube 2.5

Step 5: Score the perpendicular bisectors of the isoceles triangles. Ha Ha! I’ve always wanted to say that!!!!

Mathspig Cube 2.6

Step 6: Fold the cube sides up, tucking the extended flaps over the triangles.

Mathspig Cube 2.7

Step 6: Fold down the cube lid!!!

OK! It may take some practice. But mathspig likes her cube.

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