The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Policy and News » Math Forum Internet News

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Newsletter: Math Forum Internet News No. 2.15 (April 14)
Replies: 0  

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List  
Sarah Seastone

Posts: 1,240
Registered: 12/3/04
Newsletter: Math Forum Internet News No. 2.15 (April 14)
Posted: Apr 12, 1997 11:06 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

14 April 1997 Vol.2, No.15


Well Connected Educator | Building Model Surfaces | Why Trig?


A publishing center and forum where teachers,
administrators, parents, and others write about
educational technology, join in conversations,
and learn from one another.

Nominate your favorite classroom use or professional
development site for the Teachers' Choice Web selection
contest... join author Howard Rheingold in an on-line Forum
and discuss the varying quality of information, the dangers
of using old models, the opportunities of new models, and
how to move into the future... or earn a stipend by writing
about what you do in the classroom for publication on this

New articles and columns:

- Can an email project create friendship links across
the generations?
- Can computers make language barriers disappear?
- Who is best equipped to help students and teachers
learn to use a 'library without walls'?
- How does a teacher provide help with topics beyond
his range of knowledge?
- Does television mix well with school work?

A project of the Global SchoolNet Foundation.



At the Math Forum we're interested in the use of physical
models as aids in understanding three-dimensional surfaces.
Joan Hoffmann (Swarthmore '96) has created some pages for
building surfaces discussed in multi-variable calculus.
Using yarn, she shows how to:

- trace a sine curve around the inside of a soda bottle
- construct a simple or economy (appropriate for group
learning situations) hyperbolic paraboloid in a
cardboard box
- using foam board, cardboard, a sharp X-acto blade, and
glue, make f(x,y) = (x^2 * y) / (x^4 + y^2).

Do you have models of your own? Write up instructions for
building them and submit them to



You are teaching a group of skeptical high school
students trigonometry and they want to know
"Why do we learn Trigonometry?"
-Sharon Hessney

Responses to this question ranged from concrete examples of
how trig is used to conversations about the validity and
utility of the question as stated. Below are a few
excerpts, and we encourage you to read the full discussion.

Trig is easy to defend! Any physical situation where
two actors don't meet at right angles or are parallel
requires trig. This includes virtually any realistic
mechanics problem (cars on hills, the trajectory of a
baseball or rocket, bridge design, road design, TV
picture tube design, etc.) and many optics problems...
Taken a step further, understanding many kinds of
motion and vibration (sound, light "waves,"...)
Now, try defending integration by parts...
- Tim Corica, The Peddie School

Why is it that questions from students about different
bits of math cause so much agitation among teachers?
I wonder how often English teachers get "why should we
study Shakespeare?" ...I suspect their answer is that
people without passing knowledge of old Will are
ignorant... - GYanos

I think it is because there is a strong feeling that
since there are some uses for mathematics, the study
of mathematics needs to be justified in terms of its
usefulness... [but what about] history or music or
literature. Are teachers of those subjects providing
their students with job skills?
- Jack Roach


The Math Forum's gateway to these and other recommended
math and education discussions, with directions for
subscribing to mailing lists, can be found at:



The Math Forum
Ask Dr. Math
Problem of the Week
Internet Resources
Join the Math Forum


_o \o_ __| \ / |__ o _ o/ \o/
__|- __/ \__/o \o | o/ o/__ /\ /| |
\ \ / \ / \ /o\ / \ | \ / | / \ / \

The Math Forum ** 14 April 1997

You will find this newsletter, a FAQ,
and subscription directions archived at

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.