Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Slice of Math Paradise

I met with Ingvill again yesterday to discuss our upcoming trip to Karmøy. Tomorrow we leave for a two-day trip to the southwest coast of Norway to meet with math specialists and teachers in the region. We met to plan our activities ... nearly every idea I had Ingvill could one-up. Her knowledge of exciting and rich math activities is wide and deep. Our meeting quickly "deteriorated" into playing with math, which has happened in all of our meetings thus far.

Here's an interesting question: Arrange 6 counters in a triangle (rows of 1, 2, and 3) pointing away from you. How many counters must you move to reverse the direction of the triangle? Okay, that wasn't so hard. Now generalize: for a triangle of n rows, how many counters must you move to reverse its direction?

I took that problem home last night and worked it in bed. Nice patterns, nice visualization, tricky formula!

I'm in a little slice of math paradise -- everyone is doing interesting math things. Nils works with the Science Center (Vitensenteret) designing and building exhibits, Tor is working on using technology to motivate exciting explorations, Gerd is creating math curriculum for outdoor activities, Oliv is working with PhD students studying mathematics with blind students, Anne-Gunn explores mathematical art, and on and on.

And to top it off, we have as many tokens as we want for the Wittenborg fresh-ground coffee machine... my favorite is the Wiener (Vienna) Melange coffee with espresso, milk and chocolate.

No comments:

Post a Comment