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Excellent Videotape and Workbook Modules
Posted:
Mar 13, 1999 9:41 PM


[Note: If you are an elementary teacher and receive this, please share it with middle and high school mathematics teachers in your school district. If you are a middle or high school teacher, share this information with other teachers. These are excellent materials for use in mathematics courses, and in teacher preparation courses. Go to the website indicated below  see Distribution Network at the site for information about getting the materials.] ******************************************************
Project MATHEMATICS!
Project description
Project MATHEMATICS! produces videotapeandworkbook modules that explore basic topics in high school mathematics in ways that cannot be done at the chalkboard or in a textbook. The tapes use live action, music, special effects, and imaginative computer animation. They are distributed on a nonprofit basis.
The goal of the project is to attract young people to mathematics through highquality instructional modules that show mathematics to be understandable, exciting, and eminently worthwhile. Each module consists of a videotape together with a workbook, and explores a basic topic in mathematics that can be easily integrated into any existing high school or community college curriculum. The modules are crafted to encourage interaction between students and teachers.
More than 9 million students have seen one or more of the videotapes. They have been received enthusiastically by teachers and students nationwide and have captured firstplace honors at eleven major film and video festivals.
Project modules were produced by Tom M. Apostol, James F. Blinn, and Joe Corrigan at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.
The following modules are currently available:
The Theorem of Pythagoras Several engaging animated proofs of the Pythagorean theorem are presented, with applications to reallife problems and to Pythagorean triples. The theorem is extended to 3space, but does not hold for spherical triangles.
The Story of Pi Although pi is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle, it appears in many formulas that have nothing to do with circles. Animated sequences dissect a circular disk of radius r and transform it to a rectangle of base pi*r and altitude r. Animation shows how Archimedes estimated pi using perimeters of approximating polygons.
Similarity Scaling multiplies lengths by the same factor and produces a similar figure. It preserves angles and ratios of lengths of corresponding line segments. Animation shows what happens to perimeters, areas, and volumes under scaling, with various applications from real life.
Polynomials Animations show how the Cartesian equation changes if the graph of a polynomial is translated or subjected to a vertical change of scale. Zeros, local extrema, and points of inflection are discussed. Reallife examples include parabolic trajectories and the use of cubic splines in designing sailboats and computergenerated teapots.
Sines and Cosines, Part 1 (Periodic functions) Sines and cosines occur as rectangular coordinates of a point moving on a unit circle, as graphs related to vibrating motion, and as ratios of sides of right triangles. They are related by reflection or translation of their graphs. Animations demonstrate the Gibbs phenomenon of Fourier series.
Sines and Cosines, Part 2 (Trigonometry) This program focuses on trigonometry, with special emphasis on the law of cosines and the law of sines, together with applications to The Great Survey of India by triangulation. The history of surveying instruments is outlined, from Hero's dioptra to modern orbiting satellites.
Sines and Cosines, Part 3 (Addition formulas) Animation relates the sine and cosine of an angle with chord lengths of a circle, as explained in Ptolemy's Almagest. This leads to elegant derivations of addition formulas, with applications to simple harmonic motion.
The Tunnel of Samos: This video describes a remarkable engineering work of ancient times  excavating a onekilometer tunnel straight through the heart of a mountain, using separate crews that dug from the two ends and met in the middle. How did they determine the direction for excavation? The program gives Hero's explanation (ca. 60 A.D.), using similar triangles, as well as alternate methods proposed in modern times.
Teachers Workshop This 28minute tape, accompanied by a 90page transcript, contains excerpts from a twoday workshop held in 1991 for teachers who have sucessfully used project materials in their classrooms.
Project MATHEMATICS! Contest In 1994 Project MATHEMATICS! conducted a contest open to all teachers who had used project materials in their classrooms. Entries were judged on the basis of innovative and effective use of the materials. This videotape, accompanied by a 30page booklet, shows the classroon implementation of the entires of the firstplace winners.
The following module is currently in production:
Sines and Cosines, Part 4 (Area and slope)
An interactive version of Project MATHEMATICS! modules is also planned
Distribution network
The modules, produced under a National Science Foundation grant, are issued on a nonprofit basis. Project materials are distributed at little or no cost through an extensive distribution network consisting of
35 State Departments of Education The Caltech Bookstore The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics The Mathematical Association of America The NASA Educator Resource Center Network Science Screen Report Commercial Availability Foreign Distribution
Modules may also be copied freely in the USA for educational purposes under the conditions described on the cassette label. The label reads:
"You may reproduce, distribute, perform and display copies of this copyrighted work in the U. S. A. for noncommercial purposes, provided that each copy shall consist of only the entire contents hereof, including this label verbatim, and provided further that no compensation or remuneration, direct or indirect, may be received therefrom."
Joe Corrigan/Project MATHEMATICS!/corrigan@caltech.edu
Go to the Project MATHEMATICS! website and get the details:
http://www.projmath.caltech.edu/
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* Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 629014610 USA Fax: (618)4534244 Phone: (618)4534241 (office) Email: jbecker@siu.edu



