2015 Mathematics Game
Get a jump start on our annual arithmetic challenge!
Gearing up for a nineteenth year, the Math Forum's Year Game
puzzle returns this January. We'll be looking for students to
write expressions for each of the counting numbers 1 through
the digits in 2015
Come preview this year's complete rules, worksheet, and
manipulatives now. Starting Thursday, 1 January, 2015,
students may submit solutions, which we'll start displaying
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"This problem caused me to think much harder than I do
normally. I tried to challenge myself mentally, and it was a
lot to think about. I don't get problems that make me think
this hard usually, so I have one thing to say: Thank you!"
- Kira, mentioned in the Pre-Algebra PoW's Latest Solution
Exponentials and Ebola
What mathematical principles describe the spread of disease?
How can we mathematically model an epidemic?
On Wednesday, a New York City public school teacher contributed
a math lesson about contagious diseases like Ebola to The New
York Times' Learning Network.
To get ready for "Exponential Outbreaks," students warm up by
reading the newspaper's page of Ebola facts:
After focusing on quantitative aspects of the outbreak, they
use calculators and graphing utilities to explore the
consequences and fundamental mathematical ideas of transmission
rates and replication. The lesson ends with extensions to other
websites, including one that gamifies epidemic prevention; and
links to an interactive projection from The New York Times that
charts how the speed of response has defined the Ebola crisis:
This lesson plan was written by Patrick Honner, a finalist for
the most recent Presidential Award for Excellence in
Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Honner last appeared
in these pages over the summer, when a July survey from the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) motivated
him to write about math education's "grand challenges." His NYT
Learning Network lesson joins a free series dedicated to Ebola:
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"Possibly simpler is to solve the first equation for
(z - xy)² and use it to eliminate z - xy terms from the
equation for your circle. Now you're on you're own, though.
You have to know if it has a solution.... Oh, and beware of
spurious solutions introduced by the squaring of both sides
prior to the second substitution."
- George, posted to the sci.math discussion
Integer Milestones: Videos
More than a hundred people attended a conference on how the
On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS) has
contributed to the computational sciences, an event featured in
these pages two months ago.
Videos of all the lectures went up last week. Freely watch
clips from the gathering, held at the Center for Discrete
Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) of Rutgers
University, such as
"The OEIS: The Major Problems," by Neil Sloane
"On Unsettleable Sequences," by John Conway
"There be dragons. Thousands!" by Jörg Arndt
"40 Years with Sloane's Integer Sequences," by
"Analogies and Sequences: Intertwined Patterns of Integers
and Patterns of Thought Processes," by Douglas Hofstadter