We've all seen amazing examples of illusions, but did you know that there is a fertile community of researchers creating new ones? The Best Illusion of the Year contest and website provide a showcase for celebrating illusions. This year's winner for best illusion was created by Christopher D. Blair, Gideon P. … Continue Reading ››

Nathan Dummitt teaches mathematics and statistics at Columbia Preparatory School in New York, NY. He teaches all four years and is interested in sharing low-threshold, high-ceiling activities with his students. — Guest post by Nathan Dummitt I teach Geometry at a high school in New York City, and I like to start the school year … Continue Reading ››

According to Wikipedia, the Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem, named after mathematician and philosopher Luitzen Brouwer, states that "for any continuous function f mapping a compact convex set into itself, there is a point x_{0} such that f(x_{0}) = x_{0}. This is a deep theorem, but one aspect of it is lovely, surprising, and entirely approachable by high-school geometry … Continue Reading ››

With the World Cup in our hemisphere, and the US squad having started out with a win over Ghana, my thoughts turned to the mathematics of soccer. My friend Henri Picciotto has a nice page about the shooting angle, the angle within which a shot is on goal, so I thought of … Continue Reading ››

For the past eight months, my colleague Scott Steketee and I have collaborated with the authors of the elementary curriculum Everyday Mathematicsto design interactive Web Sketchpad models for their next edition. When it came time to create a Sketchpad representation of an isosceles triangle, I built the interactive triangle model below. Try … Continue Reading ››

I first encountered the kinetic sculptures of Arthur Ganson nearly 20 years ago at the MIT Museum. Ganson is an engineer, artist, and inventor whose machines, when set in motion, display a grace you would not expect from metal, gears, and other industrial objects. Below is a video of one of … Continue Reading ››

Guest blogger Juan Camilo Acevedo is part of the University of Chicago's Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) digital team, where he develops Sketchpad-based activities for Everyday Mathematics. Currently, he teaches undergraduate language classes at the University of Chicago and is writing his doctoral dissertation on Digital Humanities. Juan holds a BA in … Continue Reading ››

π Day has always been a special day for me, from my earliest days. In fact, I've never figured out whether I was so eager to celebrate my first π Day that I jumped the gun and sent my mom into labor early, or whether I just wanted be sure to experience all 24 hours … Continue Reading ››

Take a look at the two groups of shapes below. Both groups contain an equilateral triangle and a square. Now imagine that you showed students each group and asked them to identify the shapes. Do you think students would do equally well in naming the shapes in group A and group B? Continue Reading ››

A little over a year ago, the Museum of Mathematics opened in the heart of New York City. One of my favorite exhibits at the museum is the Human Tree. When you stand in front of the Human Tree screen and wave, your arms are replaced by images of … Continue Reading ››