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Topic: Newsletter: Math Forum Internet News No. 2.30 (July 28)
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Sarah Seastone

Posts: 1,240
Registered: 12/3/04
Newsletter: Math Forum Internet News No. 2.30 (July 28)
Posted: Jul 27, 1997 12:51 AM
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28 July 1997 Vol.2, No.30

THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS

Oriental Carpets | Geometry Ctr Student Projects | Neg X Neg


SYMMETRY AND PATTERN:
THE ART OF ORIENTAL CARPETS

http://forum.swarthmore.edu/geometry/rugs/

A joint project of The Textile Museum and The Math Forum

Highlights include:

- About Symmetry and Pattern
An illustrated introduction to the
mathematical aspects of this exhibit.

- Rug Gallery
Images of 28 carpets, each accompanied
by comments from the author.

- About Oriental Carpets
Social, historical, and technical
information about Islamic art.

- Educational Resources
Including student activities and
suggestions for further reading.


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GEOMETRY CENTER STUDENT PROJECTS

http://www.geom.umn.edu/~demo5337/

Student Projects from Math 5337: Computational Methods in
Elementary Geometry (Technology in the Geometry Classroom).
These materials were developed at the Geometry Center by
pre- and in-service teachers of high-school geometry. The
projects for teachers and students (primarily grades 7-12)
offer a wide of topics in geometry:

- Symmetry
- The Golden Ratio
- Classification of patterns
- Concurrency points in a triangle
- The Pythagorean theorem
- Geometry in Art
- Charlotte and the World Wide Web
- The Geometer's Sketchpad


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EXPLAINING NEGATIVE X NEGATIVE = POSITIVE

A discussion from amte, the mailing list of
the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.

http://forum.swarthmore.edu/epigone/amte/twaxkhingror

"I think it seems quite arbitrary to many ordinary people
that a product of two negative numbers should be positive -
they don't see the sense in it. Indeed, I have seen volumes
written by people we would likely call cranks who argue that
we mathematicians got it wrong when we defined multiplication
that way, and that it has caused untold trouble.... suppose
we take a geometric approach to numbers..."
- Ladnor Geissinger

"...my favorite is one I saw years ago at a math conference,
which uses the idea of a hot air balloon.... we talk about
this as a very simple example of mathematical modeling -
and how sometimes it may not be a very perfect fit but is
good for helping us develop a sense of what is going on,
and how we can stretch our model only so far to make sense."
- Marjorie (Marj) Enneking

"I like Morris Kline's way of explaining that neg times neg
is positive. (Mathematics: A Cultural Approach. 1962.
Addison-Wesley. page 67-68). There he says: 'The operations
with negative numbers and with negative and positive numbers
together are easy to understand if one keeps in mind the
physical significance of these operations...' The difference
between his explanation and a straight profit/debt model
(which fails in the case of multiplying and dividing) is
that Kline has introduced TIME...."
- Genevieve Boulet

For more approaches, see the Dr. Math FAQ:

http://forum.swarthmore.edu/dr.math/faq/faq.negxneg.html


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The Math Forum ** 28 July 1997

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