Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do you know what doing mathematics mean?

Decisions Decisions by Garrettc, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by Garrettc

Unfortunately, many students believe that mathematics is what they only do in the math classroom instead of the processes they naturally use in their daily lives to make decisions and/or choices. The article below (click the link for full article) shows 9 basic mental abilities we all have and it represents doing mathematics. We are mathematical beings by nature!

doing mathematics makes use of nine basic mental
1. Number sense
Child psychologists have
demonstrated conclusively that we are all born with
number sense
2. Numerical ability
The Sumerians are the first people we know of who
used abstract numbers
3. Spatial-reasoning ability
ability to recognize shapes and to judge

4. A sense of cause and effect. Much of
mathematics depends on "if this, then that"
reasoning, an abstract form of thinking about
causes and their effects.

5. The ability to construct and follow a causal
chain of facts or events. A mathematical proof
is a highly abstract version of a causal chain of

6. Algorithmic ability. This is an abstract version
of the fifth ability on this list.

7. The ability to handle abstraction
8. Logical-reasoning ability
9. Relational-reasoning ability
Much of mathematics deals
with relationships among abstract objects
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My students showing how geomtery is everywhere!

The videos below were created by students in my Geometry for Educators course (i.e. MAT 165) at St. Thomas University. The purpose of the assignment was to promote awareness among students on how geometry is embedded in those things they like most to do. To many, doing this project made the course content relevant and meaningful. Enjoy a sample of my students' videos.

The ramifications of learning mathematics

Question often asked by students: 'Why I need to learn mathematics?' You never know the ramifications for using such knowledge. Just check how the basic concept of a math game is making an impact in the field of medical genetics. Click the link below to read the article.
DNA Sudoku: Logic Of 'Sudoku' Math Puzzle Used To Vastly Enhance
Genome-sequencing Capability
A math-based game that has taken the world by storm with its ability to delight
and puzzle may now be poised to revolutionize the fast-changing world of genome
sequencing and the field of medical genetics, suggests a new report by a team of
scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). The report will be published
as the cover story in the July 1st issue of the journal Genome

Combining a 2,000-year-old Chinese math theorem with concepts from
cryptology, the CSHL scientists have devised "DNA Sudoku." The strategy allows
tens of thousands of DNA samples to be combined, and their sequences – the order
in which the letters of the DNA alphabet (A, T, G, and C) line up in the genome
– to be determined all at once.

"In theory, it is possible to use the Sudoku method to sequence more than a
hundred thousand DNA samples," says CSHL Professor Gregory Hannon, Ph.D.
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