Math Forum - Problem of the Week


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In Mosaic, you can use different colors and lengths of blocks to fill a canvas. Your first job will be to try to fill in the map of the USA and approximate its area.

To add a block, first select the row to which you want to add your block by clicking on the circle next to the corresponding row. Then enter the value of the block by changing the values of the numerator and the denominator of the fraction (for example, to change the denominator, click on the number in the denominator; this will highlight the number and you can replace it with the one you want). Then select the color of your block by clicking on one of the color swatches. You will see a preview of your block above the swatches. When you are ready, click the "Add Block" button.

Each row has an area of 1 square unit. This means that if you add a fraction block of 1/3, you are filling 1/3 square units of space.

Open Java Applet


  1. What is the approximate area of the map of the USA?

  2. How could you get a better estimate of the area of the map of the USA?

  3. Design your own image, and use Mosaic to create it. Describe it here, briefly explaining how you made it.

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