Just wanted to report that we had a good launching party at the recent Pycon (Python conference, a computer language, at the Hyatt near O'Hare). I was representing something called the Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy, which meets every so often at the boyhood home of Linus Pauling (x2 Nobel prize, applied geometry to chem- istry), on Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, Oregon. I'm also a marketing guy for a coffee shops consortium, met with a beans vendor from the Bay Area, though that was unplanned. My CTO in LA was on standby to produce my 3 hour presentation as a high quality video, but it turned out we had way skilled logistics, plus I was traveling on a shoestring, given our status as a startup.
What is it I promulgated? There's a ton of stuff on file already so best to stay DRY (DRY = don't repeat yourself). Basically we're bringing a better spatial geometry to Chicago schools, a next test market after Portland.
That's not to say a lot of HS geometry teachers came to my talk, which cost extra and happened in the special tutorials time before the main talks, which were shorter. Educators self-organized as a BOF (Birds of a Feather) once the main conference got started, about sixteen of us present, including Jeff Elkner, HS teacher in Yorktown VA.
This was a private sector more corporate crowd, lots of software engineers and computer science types, most of them not from academia. However, back in Portland I'm more connected to the school system (in being a parent and everything). There's a geographic component as well, e.g. we have the map at Cleveland High (global studies) and did some of the math pilots at Winterhaven (a geek Hogwarts), both of these being Portland Public Schools.
Why Chicago? The Museum of Contemporary Art is showing off some of the retro futurism associated with this stuff, calls it 'Starting with Universe' or something similar. I was joined in my visit by the conference chair and Dr. Benson, visiting professor (Tizard.Standford). Here's where the rubber meets the road as it were, as we turn our spatial geometry into real world artifacts at this point (what geometry is all about no? -- architecture and geography (they go together)).
Here's a link to my slides, and to the Teacher Notes we distributed. I'm happy to take questions but given my prolific filings to date, that's probably not necessary. However, if you're in Chicago, I recommend you visit that museum before June. I bought a membership in hopes of being back before closing time, maybe this time with staff?
PS: one weird thing that we do is cram four balls together into a tetrahedron and call that a unit of volume (no rules against it, ask your teacher). Then we divide that in to some other shapes, keeping the connecting to sphere packing (hot topic in late 1900s, lotsa links). A typical lesson plan packs outwardly from a nuclear sphere per 1, 12, 42, 92... (you know the drill right?) and makes the leap from cuboctahedral to icosahedral numbers by way of something we call the Jitterbug Transformation (ever hear of it?). This is a visual explanation of why 1, 12, 42, 92 gets double billing, as both the cuboctahedral and icosahedral figurate number sequence. Familiar? We code it in Python, really easy to prove (as H.S.M Coxeter found out, to his lasting happiness and surprise):
That's right, one line of code. Liberation from calculators is part of our marketing. Like, if you're going to be using Google Earth anyway, you don't need a whole separate chip for doing math. That'd be a redundant investment yes?