Collaborative Math, Petals, and Theseus

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!

Let’s start with a great new blog – a place for you to do math – Collaborative Mathematics. It’s the pet project of mathematician, teacher, and juggler, Jason Ermer.  The idea is simple. Jason posts videos about a little mathematical idea, and he offers up a challenge question for viewers to solve. In fact, he has lots of ideas for how you can do some mathematical research of your own. After that, you make a response video explaining what you’ve come up with. That’s Collaborative Mathematics.

His first video was about ERMER numbers, like 12312 or 94794. Core Challenge: How many ERMER numbers are even? To learn all about it and get involved, check out this video.

On his site, Jason says, “when possible, students should work with a team of problem solving peers. Our ideas are formed and refined as we communicate our thoughts to others and as we hear a diversity of ways of interpreting the same concepts.” So don’t feel like you have to do it all alone. It is collaborative after all!

And don’t worry if things are tough! “Struggling in mathematics is not a bad thing! We expect sore muscles when we exercise and try to improve at, say, basketball. Why would we expect mathematical growth to be painless? We must exert ourselves to grow. There is glory in the struggle! “

And if you liked that. Here’s the second video challenge.

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Up next is a simple little site I found called the Petals Challenge.

The secret of the game is in the name of the game: Petals around a rose
How many petals?

It’s a kind of riddle, because there aren’t really instructions. The only way to make sense of it is to give it a try. Good luck, and never tell anyone the secret of the game!

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Lastly, here’s a great game called Theseus and the Minoataur. You’re Theseus, and you must exit a labyrinth while a minotaur chases you. The Minotaur is faster than you are, though, so you’ll have to be clever!

Unfortunately, this is a java game, which some computers won’t be able to play, so as a bonus, watch this beautiful animation from Numberphile showing the creation of the Dragon Fractal.

Bon appetit!

10 responses »

1. I really loved that video it was really interesting how the squares meet up in a circle then go on from there.

2. it is so weird that when you flip the shape so that it would line up that, at the end, it ends up being a non-symmetrical figure

3. its amazing how a right angled figure can strike with a pattern to the second power to itself multiple times.

4. The game ,Thesuse and the Minoataur, was easy at first (till level 4), then it got very challenging. i would like to know if it there were more than 10 levels.

5. The dragon fractal video was really cool! The way the figures repeated themselves and folded outwards was interesting. By about 30 seconds into the video I could clearly see the dragon start to take shape; all made up of one figure repeated exponentially.

Have you made any more videos about fractals like that for different shapes? I would like to check out your website too.

6. This game was very challenging! It took me 8 tries and sometimes more just to complete one level. I thought it was tricky trying to get Minotaur caught in the obstacles. Past level 4 I was having trouble figuring out some of the moves I had to do in order to complete the level. I thought the game was very challenging and I enjoyed it.

7. I liked the game Theses and the Minotaur because it challenged me to get the Minotaur stuck in the obstacles, especially after level 4. i would like the game better if it was clearer which is the minotaur and which is theseus at first

8. My experience with Theseus and the Minotaur on a scale one to ten was a 7. I really enjoyed the game mechanics and it would have scored higher in my opinion if I had not run into so many game related problems such as unresponsiveness and broken mechanics, such as the Minotaur jumping directly to my Theseus. I do not know if this was on my end or the games end but nevertheless I enjoyed playing the game and think that its idea could be vastly expanded on.

9. Wow! That was a great video. Seeing all those patterns coming all in to one was beautiful. Also the music was calm and really fit the flow of what was happening.

10. my name is Willie I think that petals on a rose was difficult but I ended up getting help but I still thought it was a fascinating problem and it thought it was funny how without the middle its not a rose.