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Topic: Re: where's the math?
Replies: 1   Last Post: Apr 21, 1995 9:26 PM

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Dr. Susan Addington

Posts: 21
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: where's the math?
Posted: Apr 21, 1995 9:26 PM
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Ted! Lighten up! Just because *you* don't know a connection
between the Sierpinski Triangle and Pascal's triangle doesn't mean
there isn't one.

Here's a homework problem for you:

Write out a large section of Pascal's triangle.
Pick a prime (say, 7).
Highlight all the entries of Pascal's triangle that are
divisible by 7.
Find a pattern.
Explain why it happens.
What would you get if you used a really big section of P's triangle,
say, 100 rows or more?
What would happen if you used *all* of Pascal's triangle?

p.s. Pascal's triangle was known to the Chinese many centuries

p.p.s. Last spring I was working with a class of 6th graders
who had just been studying ancient Greece in literature and
social studies and art. I decided to introduce the Pythagorean
theorem informally, and I thought they would be intrigued
to see Phythagoras' name written in Greek. They pracitcally
jumped out of their chairs with excitement: they could
read it! So, yes, it does sometimes help to discuss
Greek drama.

Susan Addington (
Math Department, California State University
San Bernardino, CA 92407
World Wide Web:

On Fri, 21 Apr 1995, Ted Alper wrote:

> Wait! What do many of these connections mean? For example, what was
> the connection made between the Cantor Set and Pascal's Triangle?
> (I can see a connection between the Cantor set -- as a totally
> disconnected set -- and continued fractions in that continued
> fractions are a natural representation of the product space N^N, and
> the cantor set is a natural image of the product space {0,2}^N -- but
> I don't see what this has to do with the subject at hand).
> Some of these connections seem a bit tenuous. Does an English teacher
> get excited by "Less than Zero" because it's written in the same
> language as Shakespeare?

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