Math Forum Internet News

Volume 2, Number 12

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 24 March 1997                                 Vol. 2, No. 12

                THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS

  SCORE Mathematics | Nils Ahbel | Plausibility Arguments


                    SCORE MATHEMATICS

            http://www.kings.k12.ca.us/math/

From The Schools of California Online Resource for Educators.
The contents and links are intended to reflect the California
Mathematics Framework.

An archive of Internet Math Resources for grades K-4, 5-8,
and 9-12 may be browsed or searched. It includes information
on assessment and education organizations, and features a
database of math lessons.


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                NILS AHBEL - KENT SCHOOL*

http://www.kent.pvt.k12.ct.us/fachmpag/ahbeln/homepage.htm

Nils Ahbel teaches mathematics at Kent School in Connecticut.
He and his students have generated some interesting new math
materials for the secondary school level:

UNI- AND BI-VARIATE DATA ANALYSIS

A fall term computer project for Nils Ahbel's honors class
in Functions, Trigonometry and Statistics. Students chose
a topic, searched the Internet for relevant data, performed
a statistical analysis, and displayed the results. 

   - NBA draft picks by Mike Harley '98.
   - German traffic safety by Philipp Hasskamp '97.
   - Ice cream consumption by Sarah O'Neil '98.

EXCEL FILES FOR THE MATH CLASSROOM

Microsoft Excel files to download: annual vs. compound
interest, arithmetic and geometric sequences and series,
height of a falling object over time, Pascal's Triangle,
polynomial differences, a simulation of rolling two dice
and one about a family with three children, synthetic
division, transformations, and trigonometric modeling.
Images of sample output let you view the content of many
modules before downloading them.

GEOMETER'S SKETCHPAD FILES

Downloadable v.3.0 files, with samples for viewing.
Subjects include a variety of tessellations, and Versiera,
better known as the Witch of Agnesi.

       http://mathforum.org/students/showcase/

*In 1997 Nils Ahbel moved to Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, MA.
 His new home page is at http://www.deerfield.edu/~ahbel/.
 

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    PLAUSIBILITY ARGUMENTS: A MATH-TEACH DISCUSSION

   "What is really meant by the phrase "plausiblity
    argument"?  We can see just how thorny this question
    really is by recasting it: What is a proof? 
                                          - Lou Talman

On March 7th Ron Ward initiated a lively discussion on
the  MATH-TEACH mailing list (formerly NCTM-L) about
student assessment as addressed in the 1989 NCTM Evaluation
Standards.

http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/jaltweldjax

Ward's message focuses on Standard 7 - Reasoning: "What is
really meant by a 'PLAUSIBILITY argument'?  What is the
difference between 'use reasoning to develop plausible
arguments' and 'use deductive reasoning to construct valid
arguments'?"

Ted Alper contributes a simple false proof that constructs
a triangle with two right angles, and Andre Toom offers a
false proof that an arbitrary triangle is isosceles.

See "Plausibility Arguments" in the Math Forum archives:

http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-teach/fersusnim


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