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Hot Spot of the Month
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Archive: 2010 - 2009 - 2008
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2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996 - 1995 - 1994

January 1995 Hot Spot: The History of Mathematics archive is part of the Mathematical MacTutor system developed at the School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences of the University of St Andrews for learning and experimenting with mathematics. The archive contains the biographies of more than 550 mathematicians. About 200 of these biographies are fairly detailed and most are accompanied by pictures of the mathematicians themselves. There is also a series of articles on the development of mathematical ideas cross-referenced to the biographies. The archive contains a Birthplace Map and a collection of other good web sources of information concerning the history of mathematics.

February 1995 Hot Spot: The Fractal Microscope is an interactive tool designed by the Education Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) for exploring the Mandelbrot set and other fractal patterns. By combining supercomputing and networks with the simple interface of a Macintosh or X-Windows workstation, students and teachers from all grade levels can engage in discovery-based exploration. The program is designed to run in conjunction with NCSA imaging tools such as DataScope and Collage. With this program students can enjoy the art of mathematics as they master the science of mathematics. This focus can help one address a wide variety of topics in the K-12 curriculum including scientific notation, coordinate systems and graphing, number systems, convergence, divergence, and self-similarity.

March 1995 Hot Spot: MegaMath!
Mathematics is a live science with new discoveries being made every day. The frontier of mathematics is an exciting place, where mathematicians experiment and play with creative and imaginative ideas. Many of these ideas are accessible to young children. Others (infinity is a good example) are ideas that have already piqued many children's curiosity, but their profound mathematical importance is not widely known or understood. MegaMath is a project of the Computer Research and Applications Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is intended to bring unusual and important mathematical ideas to elementary school classrooms so that young people and their teachers can think about them together.

April 1995 Hot Spot: PBS MATHLINE
The Public Broadcasting System's Math Service. Combining computing and telecommunications technologies, public television offers interactive data services in addition to interactive video and voice services for education based on the mathematics standards set by the the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Mission, Middle School Math Project (MSMP); Math Electronic Resource Center (MERC); Facts Sheet; FAQ; How to Subscribe; Staff.

May 1995 Hot Spot: "Clever Games for Clever People" - Games John Conway likes (page by Nancy Casey, MegaMath author)
Games from the book On Numbers and Games by John Conway (New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1976). John Conway says in the preface to this book that he wrote it to tell about the relationships between two of his favorite subjects: theories of transfinite numbers and mathematical games. Many of us have used logic and numbers to explain how to win a game, but mathematician Conway was not about to do something so ordinary. In this book he takes that idea and turns it inside out by showing how games can be used to describe numbers. You're asked to just play the games and try to win, and then to describe what you understand about them using words and pictures that make sense to you and your friends. As you understand the games and become expert at playing them, you'll be building tools for understanding numbers and becoming an expert at playing with them. The games: Stop-Gate, Col, Snort, Coin-strip, Moneybags, Kayles, Rim, Rayles, Traffic jam, Welter's game, All the King's Horses, Digital Deletions, Hackenbush Unrestrained, Hackenbush Restrained, Hackenbush Hotchpotch, Technicolor Hackenbush.

June 1995 Hot Spot: Alan Selby's Lessons and Appetizers for Math and Logic
Three Skills For Algebra (a first image of mathematics after arithmetic - why letters or symbols are favored in algebra in place of numbers); Two logic puzzles to show the difference between a one-way and a two-way rule; Painless Theorem Proving; Longer Chains of Reason: What is Mathematical Induction?; Complex numbers Etc. - A geometrical story based on the addition and multiplication of arrows in the plane; Chains of Reason - math-free examples of rule-based reasoning; How Logic or Rule-Based Reason Appears in Math; VNR Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics. Also Appetizers on Other WWW Pages.

September 1995 Hot Spot: NCTM Standards Online
The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse has done us all a fantastic service by making available online the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards publication from NCTM. This document, as much as any other, is driving current reform efforts in math education and now there's no excuse for Internet savvy math teachers to not be familiar with them.

October 1995 Hot Spot: MathSearch
Maintained by the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney, Australia. Over 35,000 searchable documents on mathematics and statistics servers across the Web. Note: these are primarily research- and college-level documents. Enter one or more "phrases" and start search. For each document matched, the following are reported: how many sentences in the document contain each phrase; the document title, if it exists (otherwise the URL is given); the WWW server containing the document (if not already given in the URL); the number of sentences in the document; the total number of stems, other than the ones ignored, in the document.

November 1995 Hot Spot: Lessons by Susan Boone
Lessons developed by Susan Boone, a participant of GirlTECH '95, a program funded by CRPC Rice University and the RUSMP. "A Functional Housing Market" asks students to search the Internet for housing prices and compare them to the area of a house, thus deriving a linear equation. The "Internet Pizza Server" lets students order pizzas, calculate their area, and determine the better buy. With "Pop Clock," students look at the census site, study data, and make predictions on future populations. Find the mean and median speeds for racers in the "INDY 500"; study rates and speeds by using the "Real-Time Traffic Report."

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