Building number sense using ideas from number theory

I love using Art of Problem Solving’s “Introduction to Number Theory” book as a way to help my younger son build number sense. We went through the book together a few years ago and he’s going through it on his own now.

Yesterday he worked on a section discussing perfect, deficient, and abundant numbers. These concepts are something that a kid can understand, but also come into play in unsolved problems in number theory. For a 4th grader I think the fun is in understanding the new ideas rather than their connection to the Riemann hypothesis:

Superabundant numbers on Wikipedia

For me, though, the ideas are a sneaky way to build numbers sense.

So, is 60 perfect, abundant, or deficient?

Here’s my son explaining what those terms mean:

Here’s his answer to the question:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: