Tag Archives: Constructions

Collaborating on an Extension to a Little-Known Theorem

[Today's post is from Steven Fuchs, with whom I recently corresponded and whose enthusiasm was sufficiently infectious that I pressed him to share it here. --Scott]

One day late last spring, while teaching at St. Thomas High School in Houston, I noticed in a book a figure demonstrating Monge’s Theorem. (Don't look this up … Continue Reading ››

What Does Rowing Have to Do with Teaching Mathematics?

Harry congratulates a rower after sweeping Yale for his last time.
Harry Parker died this summer, two weeks after coaching the Harvard rowing team to yet another sweep of all four races (varsity, JV, freshmen, and spares) against Yale and two days after accompanying his 1980 Olympic … Continue Reading ››

“Figuring It Out” Is Where the Learning Happens

 I often get asked the question when doing webinars, workshops, or professional development training, "is there a quick way to do that" with Sketchpad, TinkerPlots or Fathom? For example, last week we had a webinar on functions, and the question came up about whether Sketchpad had a … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Conic Sections with Sketchpad

As a student, I didn’t place conic sections on my list of favorite high school topics. The standard textbook treatment of the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola seemed uninspired. There were messy algebraic equations with multiple square roots. There was lots of terminology. Drawing a conic meant plotting several points on graph paper and connecting them with … Continue Reading ››

Branding isn’t about math. Are you sure about that?

At around Pi-hour on Friday afternoon we successfully launched our new website. The night before (the night of the big storm for Bay Area folks), Andres and I were out with a dear former colleague and I mentioned I was going to blog about our new branding, new website, and new name. She said, “You … Continue Reading ››

Writing Mathematics with Sketchpad

In a recent blog post, Karen Coe referred to Conrad Wolfram’s opinion that programming is to mathematics what composition is to English. I’ve taught programming and written a lot of Sketchpad code, and I appreciate Wolfram’s analogy. In English class, students read books, poems, short stories, essays, and articles—but to gain a deep appreciation for … Continue Reading ››

The key to Everything Around You Is Right in Your Pocket

"You won't be carrying a calculator with you everywhere you go." A friend of mine recalled his math teacher telling him that. I'm sure we've all heard this or even have said it before ourselves. However, this particular retelling came over twitter, posted from an iPhone, that he keeps with him everywhere he goes. While it … Continue Reading ››

Touching the Math

Sketchpad has always been great for learning by doing. You can create a triangle and then manipulate the angles with your mouse and observe the results. There is something really primal, though, about using an iPad or a Smart Board, reaching in and grabbing the geometry with your bare hands. … Continue Reading ››