Math Forum Internet News

Volume 3, Number 13

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30 March 1998                                   Vol. 3, No. 13

Event Inventor | Mathematical Constants | Measuring Mt. Everest

                THE EVENT INVENTOR - Kye Ewing


Science, math, and technology explorations for teachers
and students - no experience necessary. 

   In PYTHAGORAS' PLAYGROUND students make their own
   quadrants and cross staffs to explore the world,
   and find the heights of buildings or trees using
   Pythagoras' theorem.


KYE'S SKIES offers low-tech astronomy explorations: 


   Sun Projects shows how to measure time and latitude using
   only your hands, and offers information on pinhole cameras 
   and solar eclipses.


   Lunar Learning outlines how to measure the Moon's diameter
   or its distance from Earth.


                     MATHEMATICAL CONSTANTS


  "All numbers are not created equal; that certain constants 
   appear at all and then echo throughout mathematics, in 
   seemingly independent ways, is a source of fascination. 
   Just as physical constants provide 'boundary conditions' 
   for the physical universe, mathematical constants somehow 
   characterize the structure of mathematics."

This site by Steven Finch of the R&D Team, MathSoft, Inc.
offers listings, histories, and references for well-known 
constants, as well as constants associated with:

  - Number Theory
  - Analytic Inequalities
  - Approximation of Functions
  - Enumerating Discrete Structures
  - Functional Iteration
  - Complex Analysis
  - Geometry


            PLOUFFE'S INVERTER - Simon Plouffe


A database of mathematical constants such as Pi, Sqrt(2), 
Catalan's constant, and Euler's gamma. Enter a number and the 
programs will find what the number is made of. 

The database is a collection of a few hundred tables that 
have from 50 to 11,000,000 entries. In addition there are a 
database of Integer entries and a database of digits of 

From Simon Plouffe, author of the Encyclopedia of Integer 
Sequences (with Neil J.A. Sloane) and the Inverse Symbolic 
Calculator (ISC).



    "At today's lesson about using trig and angle of 
     elevation to estimate height of objects, someone 
     asked what is the actual method used to estimate 
     the height of mountains like Mt. Everest. Anyone 
     know the 'correct' answer? Thanks." - Wong Khoon Yoong
This topic comes from the MATH-TEACH discussion group, a 
good place to ask your math education questions. Responses
suggested a video, a book: Everest - Mountain Without 
Mercy by Broughton Coburn (see the article "The Elusive 
Height of Everest" by Roger Bilham), and a Web page:
MEASURING A MOUNTAIN by Terri Shaw for the Washington Post:

For more MATH-TEACH threads, see the Math Forum's Web 
archive or subscribe to the mailing list.


                  SUMMER 1998 MATH WORKSHOPS

Looking for a summer workshop? Browse the Math Forum's
collection of math and math education workshop announcements 
organized by level - or search by selecting location, topic, 
date, and/or level. To submit an announcement, fill out the 
form provided.


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