Home Page URL: http://www.c3.lanl.gov/mega-math/welcome.html
Brief Description/Summary: 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.
Stated purpose: It 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. We hope that these materials will provide opportunities for children and their teachers to experience mathematics in ways it is experienced by mathematicians and scientists. Mathematics is lively and exciting; it is a field more akin to art and poetry than many people think.
Sponsoring/Funding Institution: MegaMath is a project of the Computer Research and Applications Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Persons Involved: Mike Fellows, firstname.lastname@example.org and Nancy Casey, casey email@example.com is a co-founder and has written the text of the MegaMath materials. Mike Hawrylycz, captors@gardener..lanl.gov, is the Los Alamos National Laboratory Coordinator for MegaMath.
Groups and levels they aim to serve: Mostly elementary school students and teachers.
Here are the areas of the site that are most extensive:
- Writings from the MegaMath Project is a collection of seven essays, most written by Nancy Casey and/or Mike Fellows. Most, like the Los Alamos Workbook, provide tangible classroom materials. Others describe classroom experiences or suggest class structures.
Along similar lines are the Stories, a bunch of fun tales for kids that have math-related content.
- The Map Coloring project is an interesting way to get kids involved in thinking about math. They explore the question: What is the fewest number of colors I must use to color this map? and in the meantime run across the Four Color Theorem, the idea of computational complexity, definitions of mathematical proofs and induction, and more.
- Games on Graphs again looks like fun, but manages to sneak in all sorts of heavy-duty math concepts, this time about graph theory.
- There are five other similar activities available from the Main Menu of MegaMath. Their mathematical topics are algorithms, infinity, finite state machines, and logic.
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