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Volume 5, Number 8

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21 February 2000                                Vol. 5, No. 8


    Impact Project - Curry Center | Maths in Tens - Mayer
                   Moore's Law and Slacking

              THE IMPACT PROJECT - Curry Center

The Impact Project develops materials for pre-service and 
in-service secondary mathematics and social studies teachers 
wishing to incorporate technology into their teaching. 

Activities on graphing calculators, Microsoft Excel, 
MicroWorlds (logo), and the Geometer's Sketchpad analyze, 
interpret, simulate, or explore such subjects as:

  - AIDS and its spread in the United States
  - the centroid of a triangle
  - constructions of isosceles and equilateral triangles
  - the four-color theorem
  - the golden rectangle
  - infinite series through Baraville spirals
  - interest rates and the growth of money
  - Koch's snowflake 
  - M&M data
  - the Pythagorean theorem
  - random events
  - recursion
  - smoking and lung cancer
  - sunspots and geomagnetic disturbances
  - tessellations, pure and Escher-like 
  - trigonometric functions
  - the Witch of Agnesi

Interactive projects for MS Excel and MicroWorlds offer 
downloadable files for explorations of ratio, equation forms, 
fraction pie, maximizing area, coins and dice, projectile 
motion, and the Sierpinski polygon.

From the Curry Center for Technology and Teacher Education 
at the University of Virginia.


              MATHEMATICS IN TENS - Steve Mayer

A British site - ten pages, each with ten items: 

  - problems to make you think 
  - facts you may not know about maths
  - good maths books 
  - mathematicians
  - maths jokes
  - reasons to study maths
  - mathematical links
  - mathematics software programs
  - mathematical constants
  - mathematical formulae

Ten little-known facts about math include a comparison of 
British and American math terms such as "trapezium" and 
"trapezoid"; the ham sandwich and hairy ball theorems; how 
calculators do not use series for trig functions; and an 
elegant integral that evaluates the difference between 22/7 
and pi.

                    ON LARGE COMPUTATIONS

A tongue-in-cheek paper in which the authors show that, in 
the context of Moore's Law, overall productivity can be 
increased for large enough computations by 'slacking', or 
waiting for some period of time before purchasing a computer 
and beginning the calculation. 

According to Moore's Law, the computational power available 
at a particular price doubles every 18 months. Therefore it 
is conceivable that for sufficiently large numerical 
calculations and fixed budgets, computing power will improve 
quickly enough that the calculation will finish faster if
one waits until the available computing power is sufficiently 
better and starts the calculation then. 

A paper by Chris Gottbrath, Jeremy Bailin, Casey Meakin,
Todd Thompson, J. J. Charfman; Steward Observatory, the 
University of Arizona. 


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