Our math friend (and professional Ultimate player !!) Federico Chialvo sent us the following link on twitter last night:

http://www.datapointed.net/visualizations/math/factorization/animated-diagrams/

Such a neat visual pattern. The kids really liked it.

As we watched the different patterns fly by, my youngest son noticed that the pattern for the number 243 looked a lot like Sierpinski’s triangle. That observation gave rise to our Family Math exercise this morning:

So glad I bought these snap cubes!

Interestingly, after we finished my youngest asked how our pattern today related to the one from the Chaos Game:

https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/computer-math-and-the-chaos-game/

In the Chaos Game we had a little computer program that ran 10,000 iterations and produced a picture that looked like Sierpinski’s triangle. He knew that 10,000 wasn’t a power of 3 and that didn’t reconcile with today’s exercise in his mind. Good question.

On a side note, check out Federico’s fun blog post about the Collatz Conjecture:

http://artofmathstudio.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/fun-with-collatz-conjecture/#comments

The Collatz conjecture gives us such a fun opportunity to introduce kids to an usolved math problem. We used it for one of our first Family Math videos. So fun!