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Archive for June, 2014

Prepare for the hard stuff!

June29

My teacher was very clear at the introduction to Calculus, “This is going to be a very difficult topic and you will need to concentrate your hardest in order to get through!” Little did I know that his words were correct. They were words that helped me mentally prepare for a course that, although different […]

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Number Sense = Mathematical Skills?

June28

We were finishing up the school term with some last minute marking and writing of student reports. I was also lamenting the inability of many students to know the difference between perimeter, area and volume (more on this in H3 later). Despite a range of teaching techniques (some involving practical measuring of outdoor objects and […]

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Beauty is in the eye of the mathematical beholder!

June26

This mask of the human face is based on the Golden Ratio. The proportions of the length of the nose, the position of the eyes and the length of the chin, all conform to some aspect of the Golden Ratio. You can check out how beautiful some people are by using this interactive website. Of […]

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Fit for Math!

June24

A survey of Spanish students has found a close link between fitness and grade levels. The study sample included more than 2,000 Spanish children and teenagers, aged from six to 18, with detailed information on physical fitness, body composition, and academic performance. The researchers found cardio-respiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, were […]

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Similar Triangles made easy

June23

There are some quite complicated and unnecessary complexities with Similar Triangles for some students. Let’s try and keep it simple. Look at the two triangles below. They look similar but, first, what do we mean by “Similar”? Similar means that one triangle is an enlargement of another. In other words, one triangle has been scaled […]

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Can Google help find the greatest living Mathematician?

June21

When the Abel Prize (presented by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians) was announced in 2001, the mathematician Tanya Khovanova got very excited and started wondering who would be the first person to get it. She asked friends and colleagues who they thought was the greatest mathematician alive, and got the […]

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The Mathematics of The World Cup

June19

Every four years, The World Cup (the second biggest sporting event) forces fans to remember their mathematics lessons. In fact, working out what each team needs from its final match to finish in the top two of a group and advance to the knockout rounds takes some algebra knowledge and powers of prediction. After Brazil […]

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More Math Puzzles

June19

A school bus travels from Veldhoven to Roosendaal. There are four children in the bus. Each child has four backpacks with him. There are four dogs sitting in each backpack. Every dog has four puppies with her. All these dogs have four legs, with four toes at each leg. What is the total number of […]

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Damned Data, just the way you want it!

June18

“Lies, damned lies and statistics! This interview focuses on the rapidly changing New Zealand property market, but don’t let that put you off! The first half has strong statements about the way companies use (er, “manipulate”) data for their own ends! Why do two companies have different results from the same data? Who controls the […]

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Watch those double negatives!

June17

Every young mathematician knows the square roots of simple squared numbers, right? For example; . Also, our growing mathematicians know that a minus x a minus = +. However, this concept is not easily conveyed when we speak in English. For example, if you say, “I don’t have no time to do this.” then you […]

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