Category: Math by Subject

3-D Printing

I showed the 3-D printed models to my calculus class today and they were really curious about 3-D printing. There is a nice video on the Z-Corp website showing the process. Just for the record, a 3-D printer will cost you around $40K and they have actually been around for 7 years. The new ones use “state of the art” ink-jet technology (hee hee… it’s been a long time since I’ve heard ink-jet referred to as state of the art). There is also a nice description of 3-D printing at the Alchemy Models website. It was fun to look through their gallery of printed solids. Finally, here is an older entry from the Wolfram blog on 3D printing with Mathematica. UPDATE: I just ran across this article (totally by accident) about an open-source do-it-yourself 3D printer that only costs $2400. There is a video in the article. If you’ve got some time on your hands and are mechanically inclined, you could build your own. This video does a much better job of showing the process of adding layers of material. This would be a great video to show in Calc II when you’re talking about the disc or washer method or the idea of slicing to create volume! I mean, really, it couldn’t be more perfect! Possibly Related Posts: Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day...

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Activities for Algebra

I have always tried to teach algebra in a way that is understandable, interesting, and active. Although you can find activities for teaching algebra to younger students (6th and 7th graders), I have never found a good classroom resource to use with adult students. Even in the resources for younger students, the activities always seem more like busywork, when they could provide an opportunity for students to truly understand difficult concepts or explore the similarities and contrasts that abound in mathematical procedures and ideas. I have enjoyed taking the time to sit down and write what I hope are interesting and useful resources for teaching algebra to adult students. It has grown from a small idea into a behemoth with a life of its own during the writing process, as the pedagogies described in the Teaching Guides continued to force more activities to be written. I am still writing, but there are currently over 500 pages of activities, assessments, and teaching guides. For their assistance on the Elementary Algebra IRB, I owe a great big thank you to my faithful mathematics assistant, Megan Arthur, who tirelessly filled in a lot of the necessary (but boring) detailed mathematical work and graphics on these activities all summer – without her time and energy, this work would not be a reality today. Also, I extend a grateful thank you to Maryanne Kirkpatrick,...

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Calculus Phobe Flash Videos

This website has free tutorials for the “Calculus Phobe.” These are student-oriented… so you may not like them as much as your students as they are made to level with students in their language (not necessarily math language). Now you won’t use these videos to teach your class, but it might be a good site for dealing with those students that miss a class. (surely you have some of those!) Also, it might just be a good supplement for students that are having trouble with a particular topic. There are not videos for all calculus topics yet… only limits and derivatives. But the Flash videos are nicely done, and I particularly like that if a student picks an incorrect answer in the flash video, the author tells them what they have done wrong and why it’s incorrect. Possibly Related Posts: Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Collection of Math Games Math Game: Antiderivative Block Playing to Learn Math (new version) Calculus Tweetwars: The...

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Famous Curves Index

I found this nice website while looking around the website of a community college in Maine. The Famous Curves Index (published by a school of mathematics in Scotland) has 63 famous curves complete with equations, graphs (like this nice one of Fermat’s Spiral below), a short history of the curve, and a link to interactive Java code for manipulating the curve. This one is the interactive Java code for a Hypocycloid (given by a parametric equation)… very nice! What a great resource for Precalculus and Calculus classes. I will have to pull up some of these curves next week when we talk about implicit differentiation. If you’re teaching parametric equations or polar equations, this site would be great! I didn’t have any trouble getting the Java applets to work. Kudos to the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland for a great collection of curves! Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Add Graphs In The World to Courses Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in...

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More songs for teaching math!

So after finding all the calculus songs, I was curious… I went out to the internet in search of songs for algebra! Here’s a website, Songs for Teaching, with sound clips from songs about geometry, basic math, and a little bit of algebra. An interesting sidenote… you can learn Latin through music… if only I had some free time! Some more notable song sites led me Vicki Young’s wonderful list of songs for algebra (complete with mp3 performances!) The Twelve Days of Factoring by Vicki Young. Hear the mp3 here. This one is very clever! Kudos to Vicki! Inequality (to the tune of Yesterday). Hear the mp3 here. Matherena – Linear equations (to the tune of Macarena). Hear it here. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Group Exploration in Math Level Up: Video Games for Learning Algebra Coming out of the Closet: I’m a Game...

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