29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Mathematics is Hard Work, Not Genius

What I fight against most in some sense, [when talking to the public,] is the kind of message, for example as put out by the film Good Will Hunting, that there is something you're born with and either you have it or you don't. That's really not the experience of mathematicians. We all find it difficult, it's not that we're any different from someone who struggles with maths problems in third grade. It's really the same process. We're just prepared to handle that struggle on a much larger scal...
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17 AUG 2016 by ideonexus

 Ways of Being "Good at Math"

It’s a common misconception that someone who’s good at math is someone who can compute quickly and accurately. But mathematics is a broad discipline, and there are many ways to be smart in math. Some students are good at seeing relationships among numbers, quantities, or objects. Others may be creative problem solvers, able to come up with nonroutine ways to approach an unfamiliar problem. Still others may be good at visually representing relationships or problems or translating from one ...
Folksonomies: education mathematics
Folksonomies: education mathematics
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17 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 All the Ways of Intuiting 1729

Stanislas Dehaene brings up the Ramanujan-G.H.Hardy anecdote concerning the number 1729. The idea of running through the cubes of all integers from 1 to 12 in order to arrive at Ramanujan's spontaneous recognition of 1729 as the smallest positive integer that can be written in two distinct ways as the sum of two integral cubes is inappropriate and obscures the workings of the naive mathematical mind. To be sure, a computer-mind could come up with that list at a wink. But what would induce it ...
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05 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 The Problem with How We Teach Math

Why do some children find Math hard to learn?  I suspect that this is often caused by starting with the practice and drill of a bunch of skills called Arithmetic—and instead of promoting inventiveness, we focus on preventing mistakes.  I suspect that this negative emphasis leads many children not only to dislike Arithmetic, but also later to become averse to everything else that smells of technology. It might even lead to a long-term distaste for the use of symbolic representations. ...
Folksonomies: education mathematics
Folksonomies: education mathematics
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05 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 12 Tone Equal Temperament

On a standard piano keyboard, one octave is divided into 7 whole tones: A, B, C, D, E, F and G. In between these tones are 5 further notes which can be called either sharps or flats: A# (Bb), C# (Db), D# (Eb), F# (Gb), G# (Ab). (whether it's a sharp of a flat doesn't really matter, the note has the same frequency, just a different name). This gives us a grand total of 12 notes in one octave. If you were to measure the frequency of a note, then measure the frequency of a note exactly one octa...
Folksonomies: mathematics music
Folksonomies: mathematics music
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05 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 The Mind on Music

For some reason that no one really understands, there is a psychological effect upon human listeners in regards to the musical scale. The tonic pitch, or tonal center is not only the mathematical center of the scale, but is the psychological center as well. Human perception of the tonic pitch in relation to the other notes of the scale gives each note of the scale, including the tonic pitch, a distinct "personality" or identity. If we were to label each note of the major scale with a number, ...
Folksonomies: mathematics music mind
Folksonomies: mathematics music mind
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27 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Math Problem: How Long Until the Earth Falls Into the Sun?

Our earth has orbital motion, revolving once around the sun in about 365 days. Suppose that this orbital motion suddenly stopped completely, but everything else remained the same. How long would it take for the earth to plunge along a straight line into the sun? [...] Kepler's law applies to planetary orbits, whether they be of circular, or elliptical shape. It says that T22/T12 = R23/R13, where T is the period of an orbit and R is its semi-major axis. The semi-major axis is the average...
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03 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Give-N Task for Assessing Child Number Knowledge

Children learn very early (often as young as 2 years old) to recite the number-word list in order (Fuson, 1988). But at the beginning, the words are merely placeholders—children recite the list without knowing what the individual number words mean. Over time, children fill in the words with meaning, one at a time and in order (Carey, 2009; Sarnecka & Lee, 2009). The child’s progress on this front is called their number-knower level, or just knower level. A child who does not yet know ...
Folksonomies: education mathematics
Folksonomies: education mathematics
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There is also an excel spreadsheet referenced inth

04 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Infinity Times Zero is Not Zero

The problem is that the laws of addition and multiplication you are using hold for natural numbers, but infinity is not a natural number, so these laws do not apply. If they did, you could use a similar argument that multiplying anything by infinity, no matter how small, gives infinity, thus ∞×0=∞. More sophisticated arguments can also be made, like ∞×0=limx→∞(x×1/x)=1. Clearly all these different values for ∞×0 mean that ∞ cannot be treated like other numbers. In order to ...
Folksonomies: mathematics
Folksonomies: mathematics
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 12X Spiral

The theory is that numbers are self-organized around the smallest, most highly composite number, 12. The number 12 and many of its multiples (24, 36, 48, 60, etc.) are HCNs: highly composite numbers (with lots of divisors), which are extremely useful for measuring and proportions. Why are there 12 eggs in a carton, 12 inches in a foot, 12 months in a year, 24 hours in a day, 360 degrees in a circle, 60 seconds in minute? Because highly composite numbers can be divided evenly in many ways. For...
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Building a spiral around a clock, with 12-segments in the rotation, puts multiples of 3 at {3,6,9,12}, multiples of at {4,8,12}, multiples of 2 at {2,4,6,8,10,12}, and primes at {1,5,7,11}.