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Blog Support for Growing Mathematicians

Archive for May, 2015

Trig Ratios Unplugged

May31

Sine, Cosine and Tangent are the three main trigonometric or Trig Ratios. Before we look at these in more detail, where did these strange terms come from? Trigonometric functions were studied by Hipparchus of Nicaea (180–125 BC), Ptolemy of Egypt (90–165 AD), Aryabhata (476–550), Varahamihira, Brahmagupta, Ulugh Beg and others (14th century). The word “sine” […]

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Thinking about numbers…

May27

Can you find the pattern? (see Post Support if you need help)

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End game for game theorist

May25

In a tragic event, John Nash, who’s life was immortalized in the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind” died (along with his wife) in a car accident just recently. They had just returned from Norway where Mr Nash received The Able Prize for solving a Geometry problem that had puzzled mathematicians. The Abel Prize (worth about […]

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Now that looks really weird!

May20

Lakes in the desert, the moon larger when it is on the horizon, Escher’s famous sketches – and, then this recent pic which somehow doesn’t quite seem right? The scale is not correct…or, is it? (For an explanation, check out the Post Support.) Optical illusions are a fun way to get connected with Spacial Geometry. […]

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Talking about Math…let’s change the subject!

May11

So, you are at a friend’s party and they ask, “What did you do in the weekend?” You reply, “Well, I did a bit of Math and…” Whaaat?” they say, startled. “You did What???” “Mathematics!” “And what kind of Math did you do that made your weekend so exciting?” “Change the subject!” you say to […]

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The seagull effect or…what’s all this flap about decimal rounding?

May10

In 1961, Edward Lorenz was putting data into a weather prediction program and mistakenly entered 0.506 rather than the longer and more accurate 0.506127. Now, this was not really an error, was it? After all, we round to 3 decimal places all the time in high school Mathematics? However, the abbreviated entry resulted in a […]

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The Microwave is in the Dish!

May6

The Dish is a 2000 Australian film that tells a partly true, and quite funny story of the Parkes Observatory’s role in relaying live television of man’s first steps on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. It was the top grossing film in Australia in 2000. Today, scientists at the radio telescope […]

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New Tools to Explain old Newton Equations

May5

One of history’s great geniuses, Isaac Newton (yes, the mathematician with the curly hair sitting under the apple tree), developed differential equations in the 1600s. But we aren’t all geniuses, so here’s the definition given in Differential Equations for Dummies (caution – this link downloads over 300 pages!) such equations “involve derivatives, which specify how […]

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