New York (CNN). At John F. Kennedy International Airport today, a high school mathematics teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor and a graphical calculator. According to law enforcement officials, he is believed to have ties to the AlGebra network. He will be charged with carrying weapons of math instruction. It was later discovered that he taught the students to solve their problem with the help of radicals!
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**THIS IS NOT OUR OWN WORK. THIS IS FROM THE AMS** PBS' Idea Channel has been running a series on the top ten unanswered scientific questions of all time; one of them turns out to be "Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation?" An 8minute segment on the topic, narrated by the Idea Channel host, Mike Rugnetta, was posted on June 3, 2013. The style is breathless; in fact most pauses between sentences have been edited out. Images, often posted for less than a second, flash on and off beside Rugnetta's head to illustrate the words he's using, or to provide a droll commentary (including, but not limited to, LOL cats). In short, extremely uptodate. The series is clearly aimed at bringing an intellectually sound discussion of ideas to the generation raised on Sesame Street, Monty Python and the Electric Company. With regard to whether mathematics exists or not, the discussion is really more philosophical than mathematical. It might have been enriched by a discussion of some of what we consider intrinsic phenomena, prime numbers for example, instead of focussing as it does on $5+5=10$ . (CBS News) Take an unpopular academic subject, a dedicated visionary, and $23 million, and what have you got? Why, it all adds up to the museum our Mo Rocca's about to guide us through: Math. The very word conjures painful memories: long division . . . Square roots . . . The quadratic equation. Not only do most of us not like it; we're also not very good at it. In an international test of 15yearolds, the U.S. placed 24th out of 64 countries. "We don't currently, in this country, have a cultural expectation that yeah, you're going to learn math just like you're going to learn reading," said Glen Whitney. "It's okay to not be good at math." Glen Whitney is good at math. He's got a Ph.D in it, and is trying to change the way we think about one of our least favorite subjects. "I loved math. I loved algebra. I really loved geometry, [but] I hit the wall at precal," said Rocca. "That's the problem," said Whitney, "because you were only given one road to go through mathematics. You got the impression that once you hit the wall, that's it. There's nothing more for you. In fact, math is this extremely, very beautiful landscape. And we're showing people just one road cut right through the center of it." Whitney says our math curriculum is designed for rocket scientists. Literally! Fifty years ago America was in a space race against the Soviet Union, and beefing up on our math program was seen as a winning solution. Whitney said America was on a mission then: "We had to, you know, beat the Soviets to the moon. So we needed, you know, the young, bright science or math kid to be our hero to take us to the moon. And we haven't had a mission like that since then to capture the public imagination as to the importance of math." That's where Whitney and his latest project come in  a museum devoted entirely to math. "With our opening, there's now one math museum in North America," he told Rocca. "That's not a difficult math problem," Rocca replied. The Museum of Mathematics (MoMath for short) opened in December in New York City. With $23 million behind it, it feels less like a classroom and more like a playground. Museum cofounder Cindy Lawrence showed Mo around. There was a squarewheeled tricycle that somehow rides like a dream. "It's smoother than a Lexus," Rocca laughed.(CBS News) Take an unpopular academic subject, a dedicated visionary, and $23 million, and what have you got? Why, it all adds up to the museum our Mo Rocca's about to guide us through: Math. The very word conjures painful memories: long division . . . Square roots . . . The quadratic equation. Not only do most of us not like it; we're also not very good at it. In an international test of 15yearolds, the U.S. placed 24th out of 64 countries. "We don't currently, in this country, have a cultural expectation that yeah, you're going to learn math just like you're going to learn reading," said Glen Whitney. "It's okay to not be good at math." Glen Whitney is good at math. He's got a Ph.D in it, and is trying to change the way we think about one of our least favorite subjects. "I loved math. I loved algebra. I really loved geometry, [but] I hit the wall at precal," said Rocca. "That's the problem," said Whitney, "because you were only given one road to go through mathematics. You got the impression that once you hit the wall, that's it. There's nothing more for you. In fact, math is this extremely, very beautiful landscape. And we're showing people just one road cut right through the center of it." Whitney says our math curriculum is designed for rocket scientists. Literally! Fifty years ago America was in a space race against the Soviet Union, and beefing up on our math program was seen as a winning solution. Whitney said America was on a mission then: "We had to, you know, beat the Soviets to the moon. So we needed, you know, the young, bright science or math kid to be our hero to take us to the moon. And we haven't had a mission like that since then to capture the public imagination as to the importance of math." That's where Whitney and his latest project come in  a museum devoted entirely to math. "With our opening, there's now one math museum in North America," he told Rocca. "That's not a difficult math problem," Rocca replied. The Museum of Mathematics (MoMath for short) opened in December in New York City. With $23 million behind it, it feels less like a classroom and more like a playground. Museum cofounder Cindy Lawrence showed Mo around. There was a squarewheeled tricycle that somehow rides like a dream. "It's smoother than a Lexus," Rocca laughed. Magic? Nope, it's math. You can see and hear the connection between math and music. "Every sphere we touch, you're hearing three notes  a triad, a chord," Lawrence said. "There's something sinister, eerie about it. Minor keys are always kind of evil, right?" You can get your freak on with fractals. And what are fractals? "A fractal is a pattern of repetition where the same image is repeated over and over again, but in even smaller sizes," said Lawrence. And only here could you call a bathroom, a mathroom, with pentagonal sinks that go down to a triangular base. The message is simple: math is everywhere; a part of our daily lives, from the time you get out of bed ("Timekeeping was one of the original drivers for the creation of mathematics," said Whitney), to putting on your glasses ("Optics has its foundation in mathematics"), to knotting your bow tie ("I see your bow tie. And the knot there is one of the most vibrant, rich areas of mathematics right now"). And that's the point  math may not be as easy as pi, but it isn't so square, either. "Do you think that math lovers can seduce the math haters into liking math?" aske dRocca. "People who are really engaged with math understand that there's a lot of folks out there that don't see it the same way they do," said Whitney. "And they really want to show them the beauty and the wonder and the excitement that they experience. So hopefully, we've done that. Time will tell. But that's certainly what we're trying to do." This is a news article from Better Explained at http://betterexplained.com/articles/mathaslanguageunderstandingtheequalssign/ Math As Language: Understanding the Equals SignIt’s easy to forget math is a language for communicating ideas. As words, “two and three is equal to five” is cumbersome. Replacing numbers and operations with symbols helps: “2 + 3 is equal to 5″. But we can do better. In 1557, Robert Recorde invented the equals sign, written with two parallel lines (=), because “noe 2 thynges, can be moare equalle”. “2 + 3 = 5″ is much easier to read. Unfortuantely, the meaning of “equals” changes with the context — just ask programmers who have to distinguish =, == and ===. A “equals” B is a generic conclusion: what specific relationship are we trying to convey? Simplification I see “2 + 3 = 5″ as “2 + 3 can be simplified to 5″. The equals sign transitions a complex form on the left to an equivalent, simpler form on the right. Temporary Assignment Statements like “speed = 50″ mean “the speed is 50, for this scenario”. It indicates that we decided this equivalence. We could have picked any value, but chose one useful for the problem at hand. Fundamental Connection Consider a mathematical truth like $\displaystyle a^2+b^2=c^2$, were a, b, and c are the sides of a right triangle. I read this equals sign as “must always be equal to” or “can be seen as” because it states a permanent relationship, not a coincidence. The arithmetic of $\displaystyle 3^2+4^2=5^2$ is a simplification; the geometry of $\displaystyle a^2+b^2=c^2$ is a deep mathematical truth. The formula to add 1 to 100 “can be seen as” geometric rearrangement, combinatorics, averaging, or even listmaking. Factual Definition Statements like are definitions of our choosing; the left hand side is a shortcut for the right hand side. It’s similar to temporary assignment, but reserved for “facts” that won’t change between scenarios (e always has the same value in every equation, but “speed” can change). Constraints Here’s a tricky one. We might write x + y = 5 x – y = 3 which indicates conditions we want to be true. I read this as “x + y should be 5, if possible” and “x – y should be 3, if possible”. If we satisfy the constraints (x=4, y=1), great! If we can’t meet both goals (x + y = 5; 2x + 2y = 9) then the “equations” could be true individually but not together. Example: Demystifying Euler’s Formula Untangling the equals sign helped me decode Euler’s formula: A strange beast, indeed. What type of “equals” is it? A pedant might say it’s just a simplification and break out the calulus to show it. This isn’t enlightening: there’s a fundamental relationship to discover. $\displaystyle e^{i\pi}$ refers to the same destination as 1. Two fingers pointing at the same moon. They are both ways to describe “the other side of the unit circle, 180 degrees away”. 1 walks there, trodding straight through the grass, while $\displaystyle e^{i\pi}$ takes the scenic route and rotates through the imaginary dimension. This works for any point on the circle: rotate there, or move in straight lines. Two paths with the same destination: that’s what their equality means. Move beyond a generic equals and find the deeper, specific connection (“simplifies to”, “has been chosen to be”, “refers to the same concept as”).
Happy math. Neil Armstrong: The First Man on the Moon, Has Died Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82. Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday, days after his 82nd birthday. He underwent heart surgery earlier this month. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. He and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours on the moon. The Astronaut and his wife, Carol, made their home in Indian Hill. This is the statement from the Armstrong Family: “We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati. He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits. As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life. While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves. For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” 
PollOriginsThis started as a way to express the admins' love of calculus and math in general. As result, this has turned into a gathering place for mathbased humor and weekly challenges. This work by Calculus Humor is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercialShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Archives
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