Friday, January 16, 2015

Math Links for Week Ending Jan. 16th, 2015

I have mentioned Alex Bellos before (here) and talked about his books and his quest to find the worlds most favourite number. Here he is on Story Collider talking about how that quest started (and how he himself blew off the idea of having a favourite number in the first place). I think that it is important for students to get these parts of mathematics so that they don't just see the drudgery of just doing problem after problem. Things like this bring out the humanity in math.
Curriculum Tags: All
http://storycollider.org/podcast/2015-01-26

With all of the great and interesting ways to calculate or estimate the value of Pi, this is probably the most dangerous. It requires firing a pump action shot gun (and perhaps yelling "Get to the Choppah!!!")
Curriculum Tags: Gr8

If you need a good example of how probability works (or maybe doesn't work) check out this story about how a couple won on the slots on a machine that hasn't had a jackpot in over 20 years. That is certainly on the tail end of the probability distribution.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MAT1L, MAT2L, MBF3C, MDM4U
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2732971/Grandparents-win-2-4M-Vegas-slot-machine-jackpot-gone-unclaimed-20-years-playing-3-hits-10-minutes.html

OK this is not so much an article but a great article about how tough this old calculator is. I think I remember having one just like it and it probably met its demise through some catastrophic failure (eg crushed, dropped from a high height etc). Fun none the less
Curriculum Ties: All
http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2015/01/06/guest-post-the-mars-rover-of-calculators/

We have these discussions in class about misleading statistics and statistical representations all the time and hopefully you have read "How to Lie with Statistics" to help hone your skills on giving examples to students. But as it turns out, How to Lie with Statistics might be used more nefariously by certain congressional departments. This is the first time that statistics has probably been discussed this way in a congressional hearing. See a couple videos of it here (especially if the embedded video doesn't work).
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C
http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4509179/rep-huelskamp
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/investigations/2014/09/26/old-book-teaching-va-new-statistical-tricks/16249649/

Another example of a graph that misrepresents by chopping the scale off (as pointed out in How to Lie with Statistics). This time coming from a particular weather network. You would think that a network that uses science so much would be more careful about this.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U
https://www.causeweb.org/wiki/chance/images/4/4b/Wunderground_drop.png

And lastly a probability question that may not have an answer. At the very least it should develop some interesting conversations.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U
https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/8411929600/h5A198E45/