Patterns of the Universe Part 2

Yesterday I found Patterns of the Universe at the MIT book store:


and did a little intro project with the boys last night:

Patterns of the Universe Part 1

This morning we went back to the book to have each of the boys look at a new pattern in more detail. Here’s what my younger son picked:


and here’s how he colored it in and some thoughts he had about the shape:


My older son picked the Harriss spiral – here are his initial thoughts. I was excited to hear that he wanted to learn more about this shape:


Here’s how he colored it in and also his description of the pattern – “it sort of reminds me of how a tree behaves”:


I’m really happy to have this book. It is a great way to get kids thinking (and talking) about both patterns and math that they might not be seeing in school. The process of coloring in the patterns gives them lots of time to think about the math, too, which hadn’t occurred to me before watching them work in their patterns this morning.

A fun connection with Mary Bourassa’s problem

A few days ago Mary Bourassa asked this question Twitter:

I wrote about it here:

A neat question to share with a trig class from Mary Bourassa

Also, she collected a bunch of the responses to her original tweet here:

Last night I was reading this awesome book:

and ran across an article by John Conway and Alex Ryba on the Steiner-Lehmus theorem. One neat thing about this article is that the end of it connects with the question that Mary Bourassa asked and explains when you have ambiguous SSA cases in a triangle (and when you don’t). Without seeing Bourassa’s post I would have probably not paid that much attention to the last piece of the paper, but luckily I did see her post and this article helped me see even more value on what Bourassa was studying.

The original journal article is here:

The Steiner-Lehmus Angle Bisector Theorem

though it costs $45. I’d say the book (which contains the article!) is a better buy at $25 🙂 Can’t wait to see what’s next in the book!