Math Forum Internet News

Volume 2, Number 1

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6 January 1997                             Vol. 2, No. 1


Math & Cartography | Geometry Problem of the Week | 1997 Puzzle

                   by Cynthia Lanius

         What exactly are maps?
         What is the history of mapmaking?
         What mathematics do you use with maps?

Cynthia Lanius' new Web unit discusses how maps are
used and gives examples of different kinds of maps.
It covers the history of maps and math topics related
to cartography: lines, points, areas, coordinates, etc.,
in particular scale, coordinate systems, and projection.

Math problems featuring Web-based technologies help
students learn about latitude and longitude, and a
mapmaker crossword puzzle teaches vocabulary. There's a
list of cartography sites on the Web to use as resources
for learning about maps and careers in mapmaking, and
teachers' notes following the NCTM Standards and a
bibliography of off-line references are also included.



A regular feature of the Math Forum, the Geometry
Problem of the Week gives students an opportunity to
answer questions and receive feedback and recognition.

Each week, a high school level geometry problem is
posted to the geometry.pre-college newsgroup and made
available via the Web:


The problems range in difficulty; some can be 'classic'
while others draw from science, construction, or similar
areas. They are sent as text only, and never require any
special equipment or software to solve. Sometimes a
program like the Geometer's Sketchpad is helpful, but
it's never necessary.

As solutions are received, each is read and evaluated.
Notable answers often get a personal note of praise from
Annie Fetter, Student Project Coordinator, who posts the
problems and supplies feedback. Incorrect answers or
those needing improvement receive a reply from Annie with
suggestions and encouragement to resubmit the answer.

                     POW ARCHIVE

Problems and solutions are also archived and made
searchable. Take a look at our most recent fall 1996

Each archive entry includes a statement of the problem,
a helpful illustration, comments from Annie on the 
solutions received for that week, highlighted solutions, 
and the full list of correct submissions.


               RUTH CARVER'S 1997 PUZZLE

  Ruth Carver's 'Year Puzzles' have become very popular!
  To ensure that everyone can begin at once, no
  submissions will be accepted until a puzzle has been
  announced in this newsletter.

  Using only the digits in the new year, 1997, in
  combination with any mathematical operations
  (addition, division, etc.), try to write expressions
  that produce the numbers from 0 to 100. The solution
  for each number and the name of the first person to
  send it will be posted.

  Example: For 1996, some possible equations were

    0 = (9-9)/16
    2 = 1+(sqrt 9+sqrt 9)/6, 1/9*sqrt 9*6

  Send your equations to the address listed on the
  1997 Puzzle Web page.  Good luck!


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