eratosthenes wrote: > > Hi all. > > I am currently tutoring at a community college and one of my students > is a sixth grade teacher going back to school because she needs a > calculus credit to complete her certification or something, but that > is beside the point. > > She asked me if I could give her a way to explain what a mathematical > function is to a sixth grader other than the standard explanation > about it being a machine that you put one number into and receive > another out of. She said that this does not work. > > I tried explaining how I learned long ago: As a map where the > equation is the directions or something like that. She was also > dissatisfied with that. > > Any thoughts?
Point her to 'From geometry to topology' by Graham Flegg. There are nice pictures in there.
-- Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where experiments are cheap. (V.I. Arnold)