Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!
We write Math Munch because we love math and love sharing it. We’ve watched with joy over the past two years as the site’s readership has grown beyond our personal communities. We want even more people, young and old, to have great encounters with mathematics. Will you help us us make that happen?
We are kicking off a two-week
Every once in a while PBS and NPR ask their audiences for support, and we’re doing the same. But instead of financial support, all we ask from you is to share our site with other people. If Math Munch is a way for you to connect with mathematics – if you like reading it, or watching the videos we share, or playing games from our games page, or learning about the mathematicians we feature - then please help someone else make that connection, too.
We’re going to make this appeal for the next two weeks (we don’t want to wear on you) through Facebook and Twitter and here on the blog. At the end of this post you can find a checklist of ways to spread the Math Munch love. Have a look and see how you can help support our little math site.
And when you share, please let us know! We’re shooting for 1000 personal acts of sharing Math Munch over the next two week. We’ll keep a running total of the sharing efforts over on the sidebar, and you’ll find a link there where you to tell us about your shares. Please help us to reach our goal!
We now return you to the regularly scheduled post.
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As Justin mentioned last week, the Math Munch team had a blast at the MOVES conference last week. I met so many lovely mathematicians and learned a whole lot of cool math. Let me introduce you to Carolyn Yackel. She’s a math professor at Mercer University in Georgia, and she’s also a mathematical fiber artist who specializes in the beautiful Temari balls you can see below or by clicking the link. Carolyn has exhibited at the Bridges conference, naturally, and her 2012 Bridges page contains an artist statement and some explanation of her art.
Temari is an ancient form of japanese folk art. These embroidered balls feature various spherical symmetries, and part of Carolyn’s work has been figure out how to create and exploit these symmetries on the sphere. I mean how do you actually make it that symmetric? Can you see in the pictures above how the symmetry of the Temari balls mimic the Archimedean solids? Carolyn has even written about using Temari to teach mathematics, some of which you can read here, if you like. She’s also agreed to a Q&A for Math Munch, so if you have a question you’d like to ask Carolyn, enter it in the form below.
Up next, you may remember Edmund Harriss from this post, and you might recall Desmos from this post. Well the two have come together! On his blog, Maxwell’s Demon, Edmund shared a whole bunch of interactive graphs from Desmos, in a post he called “Form Follows Function.” Click on the link to read the article, and click on the images to get graphs full of sliders you can move to alter the images. In fact, you can even alter the equations that generate them, so dig in, play some, and see what you can figure out.
Finally, I want to share a piece of music I really love. “Clapping Music” was written by Steve Reich in 1972. It is considered minimalist music, perhaps because it features two performers doing nothing but clapping. If you watch this performance of “Clapping Music” first (and I suggest you do) it might just sound like a bunch of jumbled clapping. But the clapping is actually built out of some very simple and lovely mathematical patterns. Watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean.
Did you see the symmetries in the video? I noticed that even though the pattern shifts, it’s always the same backwards as forwards. And I also noticed that the whole piece is kind of the same forwards and backwards, because of the way that the pattern lines back up with itself. Watch again and see if you get what I mean.
Bonus: Math teacher, Greg Hitt tweeted me about “Clapping Music” and shared this amazing performance by six bounce jugglers!!! It’s cool how you can really see the patterns in the live performance.
I hope you find something you love and dig in. Bon appetit!
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Did you enjoy this week’s munch? Please consider sharing and contributing to our two-week share campaign. Here are several ways you can get involved and support Math Munch.
How to share
- Recommend Math Munch to a friend face-to-face.
- Email a post to someone. (And why stop at one friend? Email it to several people!)
- Tell your favorite math teacher about Math Munch. (And point them to our For Teachers page or our new educators newsletter.)
- Tell a parent whose kid might like our site.
- Share Math Munch on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media feeds.
- You could share our facebook page and twitter account as well.
- Write a blog post about Math Munch and what you get out of reading it.
- Hang a flyer at your school, library, math tutoring center, or favorite coffee shop. (Get a flyer here.)
- Recommend Math Munch to schools or institutions and see if they’ll join the share campaign.
- Ask your friends to share as well!
Thanks so much for your support! Here’s how to let us know about your shares, so that we can reach our goal of 1000 personal acts of sharing.