Using Brian Skinner’s terrific math joke for a lesson about logarithms

Yesterday I saw this fantastic post on twitter:

Since my older son leaned calculus last year, I thought it would be fun to run through the 9 equations with him, and then focus on the one about the logarithm of N!

Here are his thoughts on the equations:

Now we explored the one about the log of N! in a bit more depth – I was happy that after a few months off from calculus some of the main ideas still seem to have stuck around:

Finally, we went to Mathematica and explored the formula a bit more to see how good it was. We then wrapped up by looking at the Wikipedia page for Stirling’s approximation.

I’m glad to have gotten 2 days worth of laughs from Skinner’s post. Happy that it was also a fun starting point for a lesson, too 🙂

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