## Posts Tagged ‘mathspig’

## Have Yourself a Mathsy Little Christmas

December 5, 2019## Maths News: Volcano Survivor 1

May 8, 2018# Kilauea erupts in Hawaii MAY 2018.

# The amazing maths of volcano eruptions.

# Can you out run a lava flow?

In every volcano disaster movie from **Volcano** (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to **Dante’s Peak** (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow.

Is this possible? (See movie cliché busted by maths here.)

Now a lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is threatening tiny town of Pahoa, Hawaii again. (below).

You will find excellent information about the Kilauea and other volcanoes at the

US Geological Survey here.

# How to stop lava?

As the temperature of lava exceeds 1000^{0} C there are very few ways to stop lava. According to the Taylor Kate Brown SMH (10 SEPT 2014) options include:

Bombing

Blasting (it with cold water)

Barricading it

Or adding concrete.

# What if you are on your own.

# Can you out run lava?

# Lets do the maths.

Lava from Kilauea travels 17 yards per hour so the lava velocity is:

V_{L} = 17 yds/hour = 15.5 metres /hour

(See Vox.com)

## 7. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths

September 7, 2016**The Maths Mystery Box is a great treasure chest to take into maths classes. It can be used an an extension exercise or to engage some disengaged students.**

……………………………………….

**The IDEA is to use concrete objects and write a maths problem to go with the object. (See examples below) The appeal of the MATHS MYSTERY BOX is that it involves CONCRETE THINKING, sort of. All text books involve ABSTRACT thinking, which some students do not like. **

…………………………………………….

**A student picks a maths problem from the box. A problem can be simple or complex. But it is not just a maths problem. The student gets to hold an object in their hand. They have to devise their own method of approach. And they must be resourceful. ie. use equipment at hand eg. their phone as a stop watch. Students like this activity. Even maths teachers like this activity as Mathspig found out at her workshop in Hamburg.**

**This is what the graph should look like.**

**Bob the Beetle moves very fast and students have to use available tools eg. phones to calculate his speed.**

**You’ll find the answer here.**

**Safety Lecture: Do not flick at anyone. But it is fun.**

## 8. Funky, Fab and Fantastic. Yeah! That’s Middle School Maths.

August 26, 2016**One reason why students think maths is a waste of time is because they do not see it in their world. It’s not just middle school students. We are all maths blind.**

**Here is the challenge. At the beginning of your next maths class:**

**Ask your students what ‘mathsy’ thing they have on them and see what happens. Mathspig started her ICME 13 Workshop with that question and maths teachers from around the world struggled to answer. Here is what happened.**

**More ideas below.**

**Note: I missed the significance of ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ Quote. It was from the great mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, 1776.**

**More Maths on or around you: **

***food snacks: nutrition information, calories, cost.**

***medication: recommended dose, concentration eg. 5 mg, quantity, cost.**

***room temperature: weather forecast.**

***Light Bulbs: Watts, brightness (lumens, inverse quadratic function)**

***Flooring: Wood (parallel lines), carpet (tessellations), coefficient of friction (Don’t want people to slip in the wet).**

***Windows, doors: Hinges (Fulcrum, Effort as a Hyperbolic function), opening/closing door is an equation of a circle, angles, fly screens (pattern), windows (pulleys sometimes), handles (knob or lever impacts on effort)**

**Table/desk/chair: Based on statistics to fit majority of students.**

**Leaning back on chair: Centre of Gravity. Watch out. **

**Sharpening pencil: Circular motion, sharpness of blade reduces force needed. Why?**

**Pens, books dropping on floor: Good old gravity. Works every time. Quadratic fn.**

**Fonts: Size. Based on statistics for readability. Watch the small print.**

**Jewellery: Geometric shapes & patterns, but also symmetry of diamond facets, weight of diamonds in carats, purity of gold in carats (different carat).**

**Zips: Interlocking pattern hopefully not interlocking with your skin.**

**Heating: Flow rate, cost, vent locations.**

**Architecture: Of building involves length, height, area and cost. **

**External Noise: Wall thickness. Sound proofing.**

**Rubbish: Recycling. Why do it?**

**Tights: You buy them using a height weight graph on the back of the packet. **

## Maths isn’t TOO HARD; it’s TOO BORING, Sir!

January 15, 2016# Hello my little Peeps,

In 2012 The New York Times ran an article by Andrew Hacker titled ‘Is Algebra Necessary?’ The argument was, basically, that too many students find algebra difficult and colleges in America use math results to screen students thus further disadvanting already disadvantaged students. The author had a point. eg. *Of all who embark on higher education, only 58 percent end up with bachelor’s degrees. The main impediment to graduation: freshman math.*

Perhaps, algebra could be taught in a different way. Mathspig was inspired by New York Grade 3 teacher, Alycia Zimmerman, who uses Lego to teach fractions (See next post) and came up with the following examples.

But Mathspig has always lerved Lego Maths. Here are just a few examples;

Ratios: The Rosetta Project Scaled down to a Lego Universe

Other links to Lego Maths.

And while you are doing your Lego Maths you an also use the Lego Template to design your own Lego Figurine.

Download Template here.

Have fun peeps.

# Cheerio

# Mathspig

## Volcano Survivor 1: Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, 2014.

November 7, 2014# Can you out run a lava flow?

In every volcano disaster movie from **Volcano** (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to **Dante’s Peak** (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow.

Is this possible? (See movie cliché busted by maths here.)

Now a lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is threatening tiny town of Pahoa, Hawaii. (below).

You will find excellent information about the Kilauea and other volcanoes at the

US Geological Survey here.

# How to stop lava?

As the temperature of lava exceeds 1000^{0} C there are very few ways to stop lava. According to the Taylor Kate Brown SMH (10 SEPT 2014) options include:

Bombing

Blasting (it with cold water)

Barricading it

Or adding concrete.

# What if you are on your own.

# Can you out run lava?

# Lets do the maths.

Lava from Kilauea travels 17 yards per hour so the lava velocity is:

V_{L} = 17 yds/hour = 15.5 metres /hour

(See Vox.com)

## The MATHS St GOOGLE MAPS Challenge

March 31, 2014Reading Undiluted Hocus-Pocus, the autobiography of Martin Gardener, mathematician and magician (He wrote the puzzle column for scientific America for years), Mathspig was bemused to read that statistician William Feller lived on Random Road in Princeton.

Mathspig totally confused Google Maps by searching for so many Maths streets, roads, drives, lanes and crescents. Mr Google began to think Mathspig was stuck on Infinity Street or lost at Cartesian Place.

## What place boasts the most mathematical street names in the world (so far):

# 1. Paris

There are nearly 100 Parisian streets, squares, boulevards etc. named after mathematicians and not necessarily French mathematicians.

Street names include:

**Rue Laplace**

**Rue Bernoulli**

**Rue Newton**

There is, surprisingly, no street named after Fourier in Paris. But the street on which he was born in Auxerre has been renamed after this great mathematician.

.

# 2. Salisbury, South Australia

Surprisingly, the most ‘mathsy’ place Mathspig has discovered so far is an outer suburb of Adelaide, south Australia. Maths street names include:

**Equation Rd**

**Parallell Ave**

**Chord Rd**

**Log Rd**

**Tangent Ave**

**Quadrant Ave **

**Meridian Rd**

**Degree Rd**

**Decimal Rd**

**Latitude Rd**

**Co-ordinate RD**

# 3. New York, NY, USA

You can’t get lost in New York. It is a grid city.

Eg. 812 East 23^{rd} St means No. 12, block 8 East of Broadway.

There is a Sine Rd in Auburn New York,

but it’s not this one. Pity!

Here is a fun Maths exercise to get Middle School students thinking about maths.

…………………………………………………………………………………

Ans. 1. Massey, NZ. 2. TRIANGLE. 3. State Ave 4. 0.7 miles, 1.1 km. 5. It has 3 right angles 6. 0.4 miles, 0.6 km. 7. No. The triangle is not a right angle triangle. 8. David W Carter Hight School) 9. Only 2 ARITHMETIC CR, Landon, SC and ARITHMETIC Dr, Salem, MA. 10. O.4 miles, 0.6 km.

## 8. You’re All gonna Die 1

June 13, 2013**Red wines good for you. Red wines bad for you. Red wine causes cancer. Ditto coffee etc. What’s going on?**

**Here is Ben Goldacre in a TED talk called Battling Bad Science.**

**Everytime a study finds this or that food is good or bad for you they usually make one huge error.**

**It’s called a BIASED SAMPLE.**

**Here is an example Real Men Eat Meat and Die**

**The study showed that “Men whose red meat intake put them in the top 20 per cent consumption band were 22 per cent more likely to die of cancer in the 10 years of the study, compared to men whose intake was in the lowest 20 per cent. For women, there was a 20 per cent increase in risk.”**

**The problem is big meat eaters tend also to be big drinkers, smokers, obese and the rest. This study has tried to separate out meat eating from other unhealthy lifestyle choices using the Cox Regression. Mathematical wizardry has produced these numbers but they don’t mean much. **

**If the study used a control group of drinking, smoking, obese vegans then compaing mortality rates over 10 years would be would be interesting. But where do you find half a million of them????????
**

**Meanwhile any survey or study of a self-selecting group (eg. newspaper polls among readers) or a pre-existing group (eg. a church group, college students, yacht club, rock ‘n roll club) produces biased and therefore meaningless results.
**

**eg. 9 out of 10 dentists who are paid to say they recommend Oral B toothbrushes is useless information, a study of paid jerks, really.
**

**Look for a RTC or Randomised Controlled Trial. **

**Any study that begins a ‘trial of college students found’ (eg. psychology trials) is a BIASED SAMPLE. Look at the lifestyle of college students. How many people in the general population wear beer hats to parties? If you asked 10 beer hat wearing college students their opinion on Oral B toothbrushes they might not even recall the purpose of a toothbrush!
**

**Look for big randomised trials.**