Fine, Ed Frenkel, you convinced me . . . .

(Morning note – I wrote this way to fast trying to get out the door for work.  Sorry for the likely typos and formatting erros, will edit later)

Yesterday Ed Frenkel of UC Berkeley published this op ed in the LA Times:

He also followed up with this twitter link to a Richard Feynman video:

In the video Feynman talks about some conversations with his cousin about solving linear equations using algebra.  By unlucky coincidence, I’m right in the middle of that topic with my younger son right now so the video really did hit home.

Though I haven’t read Frenkel’s book “Love and Math” yet, it does seem that he and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to math education.  Even to the point where I’ve been using Rubik’s cubes to teach all sorts of fun little math to the kids – ha.

I took Frenkel’s weekend posts to heart today and instead of further work on solving linear equations, I decided to cover a fun math application with my younger son -> maps.

First we took a close look at our wall map of the Earth and talked a little bit about the distortions in the map near the poles:

Next, using a lacrosse ball and a strip of paper, we walked through how you might try to make a map of a sphere on your own and the problems that you’d encounter:

Finally, we tried to recreate an amazing video that Henry Segerman made about stenographic projection:

The link where we found Segerman’s sphere (including his video which is much better than ours) is here:

Definitely a fun morning of math, so thanks to Ed Frenkel for the inspiration.  I hope he succeeds beyond his wildest imagination in convincing the world that there’s lots of fun math that is accessible to young kids.


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