June 12, 2009
Volume 14 No. 24
 

In This Issue

Summer Problems of the Week

Wolfram|Alpha

The Handley Math Page

 

New!Special Offer
through June 30, 2009 on Problems of the Week class, school, or district memberships when you add a PD online course!

 

Online PD

The Math Forum's Problem Solving Process

PoW Class Membership: ... Effective Implementation

Teaching Math with the Problems of the Week

Problem Solving in Geometry and Measurement, Course 1

Moving Students from Arithmetic to Algebra

Resources & Strategies for Effective Math in Context (MiC) Implementation

Problem Solving Strategies

Tools for Building Math Concepts

 

Free Online
Opportunity

For PA teachers preparing for the Praxis II:
Moving to Mathematics, a series of online courses

 

Summer Problems of the Week

http://mathforum.org/pow/

Every two weeks from June through August, we will continue to post challenging word problems and accept solutions to them. We encourage teachers with class, school, or district memberships to design summer projects that draw on Current Problems or past PoWs, such as the selection from the Problems of the Week Library highlighted in our May 15th issue:

http://mathforum.org/electronic.newsletter/mf.intnews14.20.html

We will have only a few volunteers doing mentoring; and our responses will otherwise be scaled back as we get ready for a new series of problems at the end of August.

Trial Class Accounts are available:

http://mathforum.org/products/


Wolfram|Alpha

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Wolfram's new computational knowledge engine, built with its own Mathematica software, "computes whatever can be computed about anything:"

  • life expectancy France 1910
  • _al__la__ [Crosswords: find words matching that pattern]
  • St. Louis Cardinals hits
  • second cousin once removed
  • mortgage
  • area Ukraine
  • Michigan lottery
  • 8_1 knot
  • third Tuesday in April
  • San Francisco to Tokyo
  • sounds like Rubin
  • integer partitions of 10

In short, you should be able to query Alpha about "essentially any kind of systematic factual knowledge," with particular strengths in "areas where computation or mathematics have traditionally had a more significant role, or where knowledge is more readily quantitative."

Maria Andersen, whose Teaching College Math blog we have previously featured here, has two recent posts on Wolfram|Alpha. One gives examples you can use to explore the power of the engine:

http://teachingcollegemath.com/?p=1019

The other discusses her views of its possible impact on math education at the college level:

http://teachingcollegemath.com/?p=998

Wolfram Education Portal

http://www.wolfram.com/edu/

Wolfram has developed this portal as a way to access their precollege Demonstrations by grade level and subject, as well as by searching. The site offers help and related resources:

  • information for teachers, parents, and students
  • videos and screencasts
  • related links

Demonstrations are freely available, interactive, open-code "mini-applications."


The Handley Math Page

http://www-prod.pen.k12.va.us/Div/Winchester/jhhs/math/mhome.html

For almost 40 years, David Pleacher challenged his high school math students with word problems that he wrote himself. From 1998 until his retirement in 2006, Pleacher posted his puzzles online, with solutions and names of students who correctly solved them. Here is a chronological listing:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/Div/Winchester/jhhs/math/probweek/problog.html

The Handley Math Page also houses:

  • lesson plans and worksheets
  • math poems and songs
  • math quotes
  • math facts (tables and lists about numbers, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, some in Spanish)
  • interactive puzzles
  • math humor

 

This newsletter is provided as a service of The Math Forum, an online educational community for mathematics hosted by Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

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