Popular math

I’m sitting in our room in the Great Wolf lodge outside of Philadelphia. It is just after 8:00 and both kids are already sacked out! Catching up on the news of the day I saw this tweet from Evelyn Lamb:

Read her post, btw, it is great!

It has always been a little funny to me what videos or blog posts become popular. My two most popular videos couldn’t be more different.

The most popular one is actually the 2nd math video I ever made. When I decided to start teaching my kids I’d not been in a classroom for about 15 years and was worried that I’d be a little rusty talking about math. To get back in the habit I made some practice lectures that followed the sections of of “Geometry Revisited.” The second chapter in the book is on Ceva’s theorem, so that was the 2nd video. There must not be too many resources on Ceva’s theorem online because this is what the second day of talking about math for the first time in 15 years looked like:

As a little comedy extra, I’m wearing the same shirt right now as I was wearing in the video 🙂

The popularity of the second video makes a little more sense as it is a question that people ask about all the time – why is a negative number times a negative number equal to a positive number? Pretty sure it was Dan Meyer who asked about this back in June of 2013. I saw the post during the day and although it wasn’t something that I was talking about with either kid at the time, it seemed like there was a neat project in there somewhere. I sort of daydreamed up the idea of using blocks and the principle of inclusion / exclusion. It turned into a fun little discussion that evening with my older son.

2 thoughts on “Popular math

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