Graph puzzles to sharpen your skills

topIn today’s post, Occupy Math will show you a family of puzzles that help you sharpen your logic skills. These puzzles are Occupy Math’s expanded version of some wonderful exercises developed by Peter Harrison called Bovine Math. Dr. Harrison’s exercises are a bridge from arithmetic to algebra, trying to ease the mental transition from concrete numbers to the abstraction of having variables. If you are a teacher unfamiliar with bovine math, definitely follow the link. Occupy Math notices that these wonderful exercises could be formalized as graph theory and found a family of puzzles. This is not Occupy Math’s first foray into educational puzzles that use graph theory. The puzzles in this post are for grades 2 and up, unless you learn to add before that. The larger the puzzle, the harder it is.

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Image of the Week #175

This week we have a Newton’s method fractal with a lot of gold lace.

IOTW

The Golden Ratio: Fibonacci Magic

topThis post contains an activity you can do with a calculator, a bit of a magic trick. The post is also about a very special number called the golden ratio. The golden ratio is not as famous as pi or e, but it keeps showing up again and again in multiple contexts. The spiral above is made by choosing quarter-circles that cover two earlier quarter circles, along their sides. After going through the activity, Occupy Math will reveal how this spiral involved the golden ratio.

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Image of the Week #150

This week we take a Newton’s method fractal, with fifteen roots, and show how it forms in an animation.  Sorry for the small size — animation uses multiple pictures so it makes big images.

IOTW

Occupy Math announces a book by Daniel Ashlock

 

bookpicOne of Occupy Math’s research areas is figuring out how to get computers to produce game content more-or-less automatically. This post announces a book that summarizes many of Occupy Math’s findings. You can buy a copy from my publisher Morgan and Claypool, but if you are part of a university or other institution that subscribes to the Morgan and Claypool synthesis series then an e-book with unlimited use for students and faculty will show up in your library presently. Profits go to Occupy Math’s consulting company, which funds students and research!

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