Posts tagged ‘Illuminations’

Where I’ll Be in October

Seven cities. Four math conferences, a committee meeting, and the USA Ultimate Club Championships. All in 18 days. Yikes.

Yep, October’s going to be very busy for me. During the month, I’ll spend more nights in a hotel bed than in my own bed.

If you happen to find yourself in any of the same locations, be sure to introduce yourself… but please don’t leave before telling me your favorite joke.

Oct 10-12: Dallas, TX
NCTM Regional Conference

You like games? You like fractions? Come to one of my sessions in the Lone Star State.

Friday, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Room D167
Session: Calculation Nation: Game On!

Friday, 12:30-2:00 p.m., C Ballroom 4
Session: Engaging and Free Online Resources for Teaching Operations and Fractions

Oct 12-15: Austin, TX
MathCounts Question Writing Committee Meeting

No doubt, you’d enjoy attending this event — we spend two straight days working problems and talking math. But sorry, this is a closed meeting… we’ll be compiling the tests for the 2013-14 MathCounts competitions, and that’s confidential information.

Oct 15-18: Washington, DC

Home for a couple days before I fly off to…

Oct 18-21: Victoria, BC
Northwest Math Conference

I’m excited for a return trip to NWMC. In 2010 I had an SRO crowd for my math joke hour, so I’m really jazzed to be giving a keynote math joke session this year.

Friday, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Grand Pacific Vancouver Island Centre
Session: Engaging (and Free) Online Resources for the Secondary Classroom

Saturday, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., Empress Crystal Ballroom
Breakfast Keynote: Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks

Saturday, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Empress Downstairs Balmoral
Session: Engaging (and Free) Online Resources for the Elementary Classroom

Oct 21-22: Vancouver, BC

A few days of R+R before heading to…

Oct 24-26: Greensboro, NC
North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference

Two math joke keynotes in one week? Get outta town! Punz and Puzzles is my favorite talk.

Thursday, 8:30-9:15 a.m., Auditorium 1
Session: To 10 and Beyond Using Free Illuminations Resources

Thursday, 10:15-11:45 a.m., Imperial D
Keynote Presentation: Punz and Puzzles

Oct 25-28: Sarasota, FL
USA Ultimate Club Championships

I play for Chesapeaked, a team with players from Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. We’re in the masters division (age 33+), which thankfully means I won’t have to cover a 21‑year old.

October 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

A Busy Week — Fun at NCTM and USASEF

The 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is happening next week, April 25‑28, in Philadelphia, PA. As it winds down, the USA Science and Engineering Festival starts in Washington, DC, and will occur April 28‑29. It will be a busy week for me — I am performing twice at each event! If you happen to be attending either event, please stop by and say hello.

At the NCTM Annual Meeting…

  • To 10 and Beyond Using Free Illuminations Resources
    Friday, April 27, 8:30-10:00 a.m.
    Salon A/B (Philadelphia Marriott Downtown)
  • Using Free NCTM Resources to Promote an Understanding of Proportion
    Friday, April 27, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Salon A/B (Philadelphia Marriott Downtown)

At the USA Science and Engineering Festival, Washington, DC…

  • Puns and Puzzles
    Saturday, April 28, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
    Franklin Stage (Washington Convention Center)
  • Puns and Puzzles
    Sunday, April 29, 3:00-3:30 p.m.
    Franklin Stage (Washington Convention Center)

I am expecting an engaged crowd at each event, and I am hopeful that my presentations are received better than this…

A mathematician and an engineer attend a physics lecture. The topic is Kulza-Klein theories involving physical processes that occur in 9-dimensional space. The mathematician is enjoying the lecture, but the engineer is confused and frustrated. At the end, the mathematician comments about how wonderful he thought the lecture was. The engineer asks, “How do you understand this stuff?”

The mathematician replies, “I just visualize the process.”

“But how can you possibly visualize something that occurs in 9-dimensional space?”

“Easy,” says the mathematician. “First, I visualize it in n-dimensional space, and then I let n = 9.”

April 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

What Dates are Mathier than Pi Day?

While I am grateful that Pi Day gives some much-needed publicity to math, it’s a contrivance like textbook problems about two trains approaching from opposite directions. (Honestly, rather than spend your time determining how long until two trains on the same track collide, why not use that time to inform someone about the imminent collision?) Other than containing the same digits that appear in 3.14, there’s nothing terribly special about 3/14. And it propagates the widely held belief that π is only known to two decimal places.

That said, the cultural significance of Pi Day cannot be overstated. (Or maybe it just was?) Consequently, there are six cool Pi Day cards at Illuminations for you to share with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or download them and include them in an email, on your website, or in a blog post. This one is my favorite:

Pi Day Pirate

Recently, there has been a movement to replace π with τ = 2π. (See The Tau Manifesto.) That would suit me just fine, and then we could celebrate Tau Day, which occurs on the more mathematical date 6/28. In addition to 6.28 representing the value of 2π (to two decimal places, anyway), it is also the case that both 6 and 28 are perfect numbers (the sum of their proper factors is equal to the number itself), and this year the value of the month, date and year of 6/28/12 are all even.

Please understand, my disdain for 3/14/12 is not personal. It’s just that other dates this year are, well, mathier.

Christmas Eve is one of those mathier dates…

  • When written as 12/24/12, all of mm, dd and yy are even.
  • mm + yy = dd
  • Each of the digits within the date (1, 2, and 4) are powers of 2.
  • The sum of the digits is 1 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 2 = 12, and 122412 ÷ 12 = 10,201 = 1012.

…as is the ninth of June…

  • The numbers 6, 9, 12 form an arithmetic sequence.
  • All three numbers are multiples of 3.
  • The month (6) is a perfect number, the date (9) is a square number, and the year (12) is the smallest abundant number.

What do you think is the mathiest date of 2012? And what criteria do you use to determine if a date is mathy?

Tau Day - A Perfect Day! shirt
Tau Day – A Perfect Day!
by MathJokes4MathyFolks

March 11, 2012 at 3:14 am 7 comments

Plainly Stated

One of my favorite applets at Illuminations is the State Data Map, which allowed me to create the following map depicting the number of U.S. Presidents born in each state:

Note that the states are color‑coded. Those states in which the greatest number of Presidents were born are the darkest shade of red; those in which no Presidents were born are white. In addition to allowing you to enter data, there are also pre‑loaded data sets. My favorite is the “Letters in State Name” set, from which I concocted the following trivia questions:

  • Which state names have the most letters?
  • Which state names have the fewest letters?

Feel free to think about it a few seconds before reading the next paragraph.

As it turns out, there are three states whose names contain 13 letters, and there are three states whose names have 4 letters. For what it’s worth, the mean number of letters is 8.24, and the median is 8.

My sons have a collection of foam letters for the bath tub. When the letters get wet, they stick to the side of the tub, and Alex and Eli love to use the letters to spell the names of states. Tonight, Eli spelled WYOMING. We then played a game where I’d give them the name of a state, and they’d try to spell it — but they couldn’t spell many of the state names because the set contains only one copy of each letter of the alphabet. This led to the following trivia question: 

  • Which states have names that can be spelled with bath tub letters, i.e., the state name contains no repeated letters?

Feel free to cogitate on that a while, too, then read on.

There are nine states with no repeated letters in their names. (Don’t feel bad if you weren’t able to identify all of them. I had to look at a map.)

Finally, here is a state trivia question a pro pos of absolutely nothing. For each pair of states below, identify the only state that borders both of them. (Each question has a unique answer.)

  1. North Carolina, South Carolina
  2. South Dakota, Illinois
  3. New Mexico, Missouri
  4. Oregon, Wyoming
  5. Missouri, West Virginia
  6. Wisconsin, Ohio

For the answers to all questions, check a map.

March 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm 2 comments

NCTM Annual Meeting — San Diego

The NCTM Annual Meeting will be held April 21-24 in San Diego. On behalf of the Council, I’ll be presenting the following sessions:

  • Math Joke (Half) Hour
    Wednesday, April 21, 2:30-3:00pm; Convention Center, Room 6E
    (if there’s enough interest, this session will be repeated at 3:15pm in the same room)
  • Online Math Strategy Games for the Middle School Curriculum
    Saturday, April 24, 8:30-10:00am; Convention Center, Room 15A

When not presenting, I’ll be hanging out in the Cyber Cafe (within the exhibit hall), telling folks about all the great classroom resources they can find at Illuminations and Calculation NationTM. Stop by to say hello — and to tell me your favorite math joke!

April 16, 2010 at 12:24 am Leave a comment


About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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