lim joe→∞

Teaching, Mathematics and Teaching Math.

Bill The Lizard

Posted by forumjoe on August 27, 2009

My favourite new blog was shown to me by Jonathan a few weeks ago, and it’s the sort of thing I’m looking for. Bill the Lizard is a blog about “programming, math, computer security, learning, science, and technology.” But what interests me the most are the math problems he poses. Many interesting mathematical problems that can be solved by good old-fashioned logical thinking. Often the mathematical solutions require simple mathematics to solve, but can be programmed to analyse the problem further and deeper (The Broken Stick problem is a great example of this.) It’s the sort of thing I’m looking for, but despite the fact that the maths is simple, it’s still a bit beyond some of my grade 7s. What I really want is a website of maths problems like this, but which can be solved using some simpler maths. I like the “Find the fake coin” problem, but you can only go so far with things like that. The key to get kids interested in Mathematics is to make them realise how fun it is, and how beautiful it is, not how useful it is to solve problems. Kids don’t care about problems, they have enough problems in their lives without getting more in the Maths classroom. They need fun, how can we deliver that?

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4 Responses to “Bill The Lizard”

  1. Jonathan said

    Fractals, of course :p

  2. forumjoe said

    Of course. Remind me to invite you to be a guest at my Grade 7 maths class next time you’re in Hobart. You can talk to them about Fractals and keep them interested in the Maths.

  3. I just found this post through a Google search. I’m glad you like my blog enough to post about it, and I hope you’re still enjoying it. I have a lot more math related posts planned for the near future. I’ll try to look for more topics that middle and high school students might be interested in. Thanks for reading!

    • forumjoe said

      Thanks Bill. Good to hear from you, and I certainly am still enjoying it. My direction in teaching has taken me more towards maths than programming, so the SICP exercises are not quite so relevant, but I still look forward to the interesting mathematical problems you pose.

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