Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Math conference day 1

Wednesday was the start of our national math conference. 300 math teachers from across Norway (plus a few from Sweden and Denmark) converged on Trondheim for the 2-day event. Also in attendance were my friends Janet from back in the U.S. and John Mason from England.

Highlights of the conference included a math/music session called "Heavy Med Tall" (heavy with number) with is pronounced in Norwegian "Heavy Me-tal". Cool name. Even cooler music. The duo Truls Lorentzen og Vigdis Sjelmo draws inspiration from mathematical themes, and working with Nils Kr. Røssing, a colleague of mine, they put together a 45 stage show that wowwed us all!

Another highlight for me was the play that the staff of the Mathematics Center put together. It was the first play I've been in that is in Norwegian. I was a know-it-all sounding electrician with some very verbose lines to remember. I was pleased to have remembered them all.

Here's a couple of pictures from one of John Mason's talks. John is a very well-known math educator and philosopher, author of some 40 books. He showed us "diamond multiplication", a 400-year old method of multiplying. I invite you to study the picture to see if you can figure out how it works, then try it yourself! It's very satisfying.

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