Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fast and Furious!

Jeff Gordon Dupont Chevy Impala by The Freewheeling Daredevil, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by The Freewheeling Daredevil


Have you seen the movie 'Fast and Furious?' Are you a Nascar or Indy fan? Many people enjoy watching or driving very fast cars. There is a thrill for speed that is difficult to describe. I encourage you to click the link below to discover how mathematics is applied in every aspect of racing cars.
The Math Used in Professional Auto Racing
The math used in professional auto racing covers virtually every mathematical
concept taught in school today. The successful professional racing teams use
every mathematical advantage they can to win.
Along with the cars, drivers have their own mathematical statistics to calculate
and define their level of performance in numbers.
Everything that a professional driver does on the race course is measured to
compare where improvements are not needed.
When the tires are removed during a pit stop, the depth of the remaining tread
is measured to determine how the car is handling.
Another use of math in professional auto racing is to using electronic timing as
cars go up and down the pits, so they do not speed.
Math is everywhere in professional auto racing.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baseball Predictions!

Dodger Stadium by penner42, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by penner42


Recently, one of my students (an avid Marlin fan and knowing that I am also a baseball fan) asked me which teams were making the playoffs this year. Making the clarification that is too early to make such predictions, I chose the following teams: Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, and Cardinals from the National League and Blue Jays, Indians, Athletics and Red Sox (this hurts since I am a Yankees' fan!). However, my predictions were based on gut instincts, but if I would have read professor Bruce Bukiet's mathematical model to make baseball predictions, I probably would feel more confident about my predictions. His mathematical model to make baseball predictions have been pretty much accurate every year. Predicting certain events or behaviors based on particular data is one of the most practical applications for learning mathematics. Learn more about Bukiet's mathematical model by clicking the science daily web site link below.

Tight Races In Major League Baseball's Eastern Divisions, Mathematician Predicts
The National League (NL) should see another very tight race in the Eastern
Division as has occurred in recent years.

Bukiet, an associate professor of mathematical sciences and associate dean of
the College of Science and Liberal Arts at NJIT, once again provides the number
of games each Major League Baseball team should win in 2009 based on the
mathematical model he developed in 2000.

His model computes the probability of a team winning a game against another team
with given hitters, bench, starting pitcher, relievers and home field advantage.
Bukiet, an avid Mets fan, has used this mathematical model to determine whether
it is worthwhile to wager on games during the baseball season.
These picks have produced positive results for six of the eight years he has
posted them.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Do you know that every time you dance, you are doing math?

Dancing is moving your body at the rythm of the music. Rythm involves patterns and patterns is MATHEMATICS! Check the link below to learn how mathematics is an integral component of dancing. Next time you are dancing, remember that you are also doing mathematics!
Do The Math Dance
Mathematicians And
Choreographers Use Dance To Teach Mathematics
Combining math and dance concepts allows people to experience a physical
sensation of the often abstract concepts of math.
"Many math-phobic adults and children -- young people -- are put off by math
because they are given symbols before they have a real solid experience on which
to base it on,"
"Well, for many people, having a kinesthetic experience of an abstract idea is
extremely helpful in understanding what that abstract is,"
WHAT IS MATHDANCE? Mathematical problem-solving is usually
involved in the creation of the dances, and sometimes leads to new mathematics
as well. In many cases the choreographic ideas easily translate to classroom
activities usable in college math classes.
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Mathematics in juggling? REALLY?!!!

Watch the video (click the website link below) of how mathematics can help a juggler improve his/her routines and do better tricks. Juggling involves patterns and mathematics can help jugglers identifying new patterns for improving their show routines. Fun...huh! What do you think?
Simulation Software Derives New Tricks from Math
Even old jugglers can learn new tricks from mathematics. Several computer
algorithms are able to simulate the combinatorial patterns of juggling and
generate new ones that even experienced jugglers had never thought of.
"It's a nice combination of abstract form and pattern and physical activity, but
really it's a just a very pure form of play,"
Now, computer programs apply mathematics to help jugglers form new patterns.
The program assigns a number to each throw. A one is when the juggler passes the
ball directly to his other side.
Mathematical models of juggling give performers a better understanding of the
science behind their tricks, and help them develop new juggling routines.
Any mathematical model for juggling must incorporate both ball motion and hand
motion.
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