Big Math in Central Texas
Several weeks ago, I went to Waco, TX, to deliver the keynote session at the Central Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference. But before we get into that, let’s start off with a little trivia about the Wacky City. Do you know…
What famous soft drink was invented by Dr. Charles Alderton at Waco’s Old Corner Drugstore in 1885?
Dr Pepper. (Note that there is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper. Why not? I have no idea.)
What university is currently located in Waco? BONUS: What university used to be located in Waco?
Baylor University; Texas Christian University.
What “wild and crazy” comedian was born in Waco?
After the presentation, I had the pleasure of meeting Ashleyanne Thornhill, who has a Pinterest page with over 300 math jokes. Definitely worth checking out.
My keynote presentation was Exploring Rich Problems with Technology and Online Resources. The following is one of the problems that I shared with the audience.
In the 2 × 3 multiplication table below, the numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, and 11 are used to replace the variables a, b, c, d, and e.
The technology we used to explore that problem was Microsoft Excel. (You can see how we did it by visiting Multiplication Table at the MJ4MF website.) Not a new technology, to be sure, but an effective one.
As for new technology, I recommended three math apps that I think are worth knowing about:
- MyScript Calculator – Vision Objects
- Pick-a-Path – Illuminations
- Sums Stacker [Web] – Carstens Studios
- Sums Stacker [App Store] – Carstens Studios
The presentation went very well. For my efforts, I was given a Baylor Bears t-shirt, a BU hat, and I was named an “honorary bear.” Yee-haw!
What are some of your favorite technologies — old or new — for investigating mathematics?
I also presented a breakout session titled Punz and Puzzles. For those of you who weren’t able to join us in Waco but who will be attending the NCTM Annual Meeting, April 9‑12 in New Orleans, I’ll be giving a similar presentation titled Punz and Puzzles: Creating Environments Where Laughing and Learning Coexist, on Saturday, April 12, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in Room 214 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Hope to see you there!
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