Math Topics/Physics - Connections to the PCMI Theme Summary

Monday, June 30, 2003

Beverly, Brian, Holly, Kyle, Nikki, Tom, and Rani were joined by Lisa Usher from the math coordinators group. After introductions, we discussed the goals for the working group and some possible directions.

We worked on a project that Beverly has used about rearranging frogs in a line using certain moves (document available from the Ontario Association of Mathematics Education, http://www.oame.on.ca/9-10.html, "CARE package" zipped files, G3 on quadratics, p4). By consensus, initial data are f(1) = 3, f(2) = 8, f(3) = 15, and f (4) = 24. Many different techniques were used to determine f(25), all involving a general formula or technique. There was also a variety of notations. Methods used included factor pairs, differences, squares, patterns of moves, and geometric explanations.

There was also a brief discussion of the difference tables arising from the output of exponential functions.

Other resources mentioned: the Discovering Geometry series of textbooks by Michael Serra, Key Curriculum Press.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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