Math Forum Internet News

Volume 5, Number 13

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27 March 2000                                   Vol. 5, No. 13


      Encouraging Mathematical Thinking | Want This Job?
                     Erdos Number Project


   Math Forum: Bridging Research and Practice Group (BRAP)


This videopaper by the Math Forum's Bridging Research and 
Practice Group (BRAP) of teacher practitioners and Math 
Forum Staff opens a conversation around the use of discourse 
as a basis for encouraging students' mathematical thinking 
and supporting teachers' professional growth. Reflecting 
an attempt to integrate practice and research, it reports 
on findings culled from discussions of research articles 
and chapters, classroom practice, and videotapes of 
classroom teaching, noting links between these findings 
and research into student learning and instruction.
The paper illustrates the interventions discussed using
video clips from the teachers' classrooms. It also provides
a challenge Cylinder Problem with lessons for various
levels, and presents student predictions of outcomes. 
Readers are encouraged to contribute their thoughts through 
a public discussion.



             WANT THIS JOB? DO YOUR MATH - Futures
                National School to Work Office

Careers in environmental sciences that use math and science,
illustrated by means of short videos. Select a topic to
hear what men and women have to say about their work and 
how they prepared for their careers. Then test your ability 
to answer questions that arise in these careers: 

 - architect
 - astronaut/physician
 - inventor
 - marine biologist
 - musician
 - recycling planner/marketing specialist
 - rover pilot
 - skate board designer
 - solar engineer
 - veterinarian
 - wildlife biologist

You will need RealPlayer to view the videos; a link to
download it is provided. Answers to the math questions are
also available.


           THE ERDOS NUMBER PROJECT - Jerry Grossman

Paul Erdös wrote hundreds of mathematical research papers on 
a variety of topics, many in collaboration with others. His 
Erdös number is 0. Erdös' co-authors have Erdös number 1. 
People other than Erdös who have written a joint paper with 
someone having Erdös number 1 but not with Erdös himself have 
Erdös number 2, and so on.

The Erdös Number Project is for those interested in the issue 
of collaboration in mathematical research. It contains primary 
data about some co-authoring relationships, providing fun as 
well as a vehicle for more serious studies of the dynamics 
involved, and a "real-life" acquaintanceship graph for 
combinatorialists to study. The site also offers text files 
of Erdös0, Erdös1, Erdös2, and ErdösA, an alphabetical list 
of all people with Erdös number less than or equal to 2; 
general information about Erdös' life; and references and 
links to research papers about mathematical collaboration. 

Also available are such related diversions as the Oracle of 
Bacon (also known as "Six Degrees of Separation" or "Six 
Degrees of Kevin Bacon"); and trivia involving baseball home 
run hitter Hank Aaron and movies such as Good Will Hunting.

The Erdös Number Project is maintained by Jerry Grossman at 
Oakland University in Rochester, MI, with the collaboration 
of Patrick Ion at Mathematical Reviews, Ann Arbor, MI, and 
Rodrigo De Castro at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 


For more about Paul Erdös, see Ivars Peterson's articles at 
MAA Online:

Groups, Graphs, and Paul Erdös

Paul Erdös: An Infinity of Problems

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