Archive for the ‘Real World Math’ Category



August 7, 2022

The aim of this post is to show middle school math students that MATRICES are used in the REAL WORLD of GAME DEVELOPMENT.

They don’t have to do the math. 

To have some fun playing with a 2D to 2D transformations go to this MathIsFun post.


Crazy Guy uses Infrared Sensors on Xbox Kinect to create WoW! Synth-Pop VIDEO

August 7, 2022

The aim of this post is to show middle school math students that MAPPING is used in the REAL WORLD of Synth-Pop Music Video Production.

IT Records on Facebook


Killer Easter Egg Math

March 30, 2022

According to The Guinness Book of Records the largest chocolate Easter Egg went on display at Le Acciaierie Shopping Centre, in Cortenuova, Italy, on 2011.

 Egg Weight   = 7,200 kg  = 15,873 lbs

Height = 10 m =  34 ft

Circumference = 19.6 m = 64 ft

The sugar content for easter eggs is: 55-65% by weight

So we will assume the sugar content of the giant egg was in the middle:


The weight of sugar in the giant egg equals:


What’s the Maths Curriculum got to do with it? WHEN Maths is, like, soooo BORING!!!!!

February 22, 2022

Australia is reviewing its Maths Curriculum.

Sides are taken. Arguments are rife. See the excellent article by Donna LuCracking the formula: how should Australia be teaching maths under the national curriculum?, The Guardian,13 FEB, 2022)

Should teachers teach? Or students explore problems? (Called Cognitive Activation in academe!)

Why not, both? Then add outdoor maths (below) plus defronting the classroom sometimes and try some maths selfies for homework. More ideas here

It doesn’t matter what’s written in the curriculum, the biggest problem in maths for students is


Here, to tackle boredom are:

41 Maths things to do before you’re 12

Mathspig outdoor play quote

mathspig outdoor-play-app

A growing body of research shows us that outdoor play leads to better physical and mental health, has positive effects on cognitive function and learning, and reduces the incidence of behavioural problems.” Maria Zotti, Nature Play, SA.

Peter Dunstan, Principal Kilkenny PS, SA, writes in SAPPA magazine, Primary Focus, that outdoor play fosters “wonderment, independence and freedom” as well as “social skills, imagination, creativity and problem solving”.

Inspired by SAPPA and NaturePlay,  Mathspig has produced her own outdoorsy maths list:

 Mathspig 41 maths things 1Mathspig 41 maths things 2mathspig 41 maths things 3

Mathspig 41 maths things 4mathspig 41 maths things 5


7. Robin Hood Give us your best shot.

9. You can measure the volume of your lungs by blowing one breath into a balloon and pushing it into a full bucket of water. Measure the overflow.

15: Outdoor Maths: Times Tables

21. Light intensity links. Here and here.

25.  Sound Volume Measurement

36. Killer heels that really kill.


How Gamers Gamed the Hedge Funds: Middle School Math

January 28, 2022


Maths in the Real World: 10 Attention Grabbers for Middle School

September 5, 2021

1. Smoke Jumpers: The Amazing Maths of wildfires






2. The Rolling Coin Paradox!!



3. How barcodes work!



4. Pop Song Beats and Jogging


Pop Song Beats and Jogging MATHS HERE


5. Linear Math and Linear Drumming. It’s a thing!


Linear Math and Linear Drumming. HERE


6. Powers and the Loudest Rock Band in the World

Powers and the Loudest Rock Band MATHS HERE


7. Alcohol Kills! Calculate how much would kill you!

Alcohol Kills! MATHS HERE


8. Tall Tales: Is height the most important factor in sport?

Height in Sport maths: USA UNITS HERE

Height in Sport maths: METRIC UNITS HERE


9. Mmmmm! Chocolate. Yes! It can kill  you

Chocolate. Yes! It can kill  you MATHS HERE


10. Random Music? You think!


Random Music?MATHS HERE


Car Crash Maths: Saved by a millisecond

August 22, 2021

*In 1970 the Victorian Government made the wearing of seat belts compulsory.

*The first government in the west to do so.

 *Within 14 months the other Australian states followed.

*The road toll in Australia dropped:

   1969       3,382 road deaths per year

   1988       2,887 deaths

   2018      1,135  deaths

Mathspig lived on a country police station before seat belts became compulsory and a number of kids she went to school with died in car accidents.

Three factors have reduced the road toll in Australia:

1. Wearing seat belts

2. Stopping drink driving

3. Introducing Airbags (from 1980s)

Our eyes can easily detect the blink (above) set a 300ms.

Ditto, the light flash (below), which is set to flash at  200 ms but it will drive you CRAZY if you look at it for too long.

The fabulous video (below) will show you the amazing details of the ms timing that saves lives in a car crash. You will see real car crash tests. And the frightening results too.

It was made by an engineer who worked for GMH or Holden as we call it in Australia. 


A Bitcoin Bubble, a Random Walk and a blind-folded Monkey

July 6, 2021

What is all this monkey business? It started in 1973 when Princeton University professor Burton Malkiel claimed in his bestselling book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, that “A blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper’s financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by experts.”

In other words, the stock price movement is random. 

See Forbes Magazine here.

Now in its 12th edition, the book tackles Investment Bubbles including Bitcoin. Is there a Bitcoin Bubble? According to the ABC on 24 MAY 2021 this was the Bitcoin Bubble Graph:

From the ABC news here

Random Walk Game

So can you beat the financial market? Try this 2D Random Walk game (pic below) to see if you can guess the next random move and beat the system.

In the game, you have to remove gold blocks by clicking on blocks in the way of the moving green dot, but you lose energy (lose money, perhaps) each time you remove a block.  Can you guess where the green dot is moving? Can you survive? Mmmmm! Good Luck. You’ll need it.


Real World Maths: The Zodiac Murders Cipher Cracked after 51 years

December 17, 2020

Mathspig can remember the horror of the ZODIAC MURDERS in California in 1968-69. 

1969 was a very big year for psychopaths as the creepy Sharon Tate Murders by Charles Manson and his ‘Family’ also happened that year.

The ZODIAC murderer, who killed, at least, 5 people and sent encrypted messages to the San Francisco Chronicle, has never been caught. After 51 years the 340 cipher with 340 characters (below) was cracked last week.

The 340 cipher was cracked by of Jarl Van Eycke, David Oranchak, and Sam Blake, computer programmers and codebreakers from Belgium, the US, and Australia. Sam Blake is a Melbourne Mathematician.

You will find everything you need to know about these codebreakers at The Nerdist Blog here.

The ZODIAC murderer used all 3 Cipher Methods (See blog Above) to write the cipher.

The Zodiac combined a PIGPEN style cipher with a PLAYFAIR type cipher. The code breakers knew the key (below) from other ZODIAC messages.

The problem was the TRANSPOSITION Rule. The codebreakers’ programs had to sort through 650,000 possible reading directions to find the correct one for the cipher.

The diagonal of … include two-letters across, move down one row, then include the next two letters across, repeat, seemed to produce words.

The breakthrough came when Sam Blake divided the cipher into three blocks.

Finally, the message could be read. The ZODIAC murderer was a complete PSYCHOPATH, who thought he was collecting slaves for the afterlife!!!!!!!

If you are intrigued by this story then you will find these two videos by David Oranchak very interesting.



Real World Maths: Surds and all that jazz …

November 23, 2020

Eddie Woo is an Aussie Maths teacher who runs his own Youtube Channel. So popular is this channel in October 2015, Woo won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Innovation in Science and Mathematics. This youtube clip won’t tell you where you will use surds, but it does something magical.

It compares surds to different kinds of music to help students understand why mathematicians go crazy over the concept of surds. This clip tells why maths is soooooo special. There is no guesswork or fake information in this maths. Maths must be accurate. And surds demonstrate this point. (Look for the 5 min mark)

Will you use surds in real life?

Maybe. Probably, not. But surds are used in mathematical programs that demand accuracy. eg. engineering skyscrapers, building satellite dishes, and even in video games. But you won’t see them. Like so much mathematics surds will be hidden in some algorithm.

Here are two Examples:

1. The Golden Ratio:

Often written a 1:1.61 the Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Sequence appears in art and nature and has an aesthetic appeal to the eye, but the accurate ratio is:

2. The Quadratic Function

Satellite dishes, headlights, torches, and bridges all designed using the parabolic arc. The parabola is defined by the quadratic function and sometimes solving for x produces an irrational no. namely a surd. Rounding off can introduce inaccuracies that can become more dramatic when scaled up to the sie of, say, a bridge.