Street Maths




                                   Edmund Harriss
                                University of Leicester...
What is mathematics?
                                                                        Large numbers?




          ...
This is 1 million points it
                             becomes a blur

                             Even when I double

...
Why is this understanding important?

                                                       We have (quite recent) way of...
xkcd: http://xkcd.com/558/
                             ...they can be used to mislead. At the moment the classic example ...
These two Lengths
                                                   are incommeasurable

     Start with a legend

     T...
Ramanujan

                             Clerk, with basic maths
                             education but willing to
    ...
Robert Ammann

                             Marjorie Rice

                             Played with ideas and discovered n...
Martin Gardner

                             Godfather of street maths

                             Got ideas out there

...
Playground proof
      So we have
      established maths                          There are a lot of ideas here. Kid B ha...
ac e?
                                                                   ill Sp es
                                       ...
For others:

                             Maths is beautiful

                             Maths art, concrete art




Sat...
m e
                                     H           i zu
                                                 ge.            ...
Project that started it...

                             Make triangles

                             Hinge

             ...
Then need people to build it.

                             But also to design it...

                             Started...
5/
                                       y st emx.php
                                  re S           de 5
             ...
Hyperscope.

                             Mirrors.

                             People can build (or even
               ...
auss
                                                        -S    tr
                                                    ...
ati cs
                             th em
                           Ma
           in            g
        D o            ...
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Street Maths

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Getting people motivated to make things and think about mathematics through building games and puzzles.

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Street Maths

  1. 1. Street Maths Edmund Harriss University of Leicester @gelada www.mathematicians.org.uk/eoh Saturday, 14 November 2009
  2. 2. What is mathematics? Large numbers? PhD student: I have started a maths PhD Elderly Relative: What’s that then, multiplying and adding very big numbers? PhD student: No, its mor... Elderly Relative: What?! Are you LAZY! Saturday, 14 November 2009
  3. 3. This is 1 million points it becomes a blur Even when I double Maths tools: Saturday, 14 November 2009
  4. 4. Why is this understanding important? We have (quite recent) way of expressing 1 numbers very well, expressing them is not the same as understanding. 1000 Especially when we say them... 1000000 1000000000 Nice idea, look at time... So why is this important... One: 1 second One Thousand: ~17 minutes One Million: ~11 days 14 hours One Billion: ~32 years One Trillion: ~32,000 years Saturday, 14 November 2009
  5. 5. xkcd: http://xkcd.com/558/ ...they can be used to mislead. At the moment the classic example is in the sums being talked about. If people are to take full advantage of an open access system they need to be able to think. Mathematics is about clear thought. How do we get mathematics out there? Saturday, 14 November 2009
  6. 6. These two Lengths are incommeasurable Start with a legend Two images of pythagoras, neither really him, so we will take Wrong! Bad! one to be Hippasus Legend says they were in the pythagorean cult that worshipped Drown Him! whole numbers. With whole numbers you get ratios. But Hippasus said... Hippasus and so... This is a legend, there is almost no historical evidence. But that does not matter, the story is important. People tell it because it sounds ludicrous. Maths is free. You cannot patent maths. We have a different problem, once you have built something how do you make people come... Incommeasurable Is there a barrier of education/training? Pythagoras Lengths Saturday, 14 November 2009
  7. 7. Ramanujan Clerk, with basic maths education but willing to explore. Worked at the cutting edge of maths... Saturday, 14 November 2009
  8. 8. Robert Ammann Marjorie Rice Played with ideas and discovered new tilings. Where did their ideas come from? Saturday, 14 November 2009
  9. 9. Martin Gardner Godfather of street maths Got ideas out there Ammann after Penrose Rice read one of his columns You might say there is something elementary or naive about this work Yes, but that does not matter. This is not about creating new maths (though that is a bonus) its about getting people doing it... so how... They are... Saturday, 14 November 2009
  10. 10. Playground proof So we have established maths There are a lot of ideas here. Kid B has grasped important, it is open a proof. There is no highest whole number. and people can do it...why don’t they? However hard Kid A works he cannot make a number that Kid B cannot beat with one We have all been told how useful maths is. It would be useful for Kid A: One squagillion, phrase. me to keep my receipts organised, but I don’t zillion, katrillion, godzillion,gajillion, On the other hand I am one of the “lucky” ones. I always found maths exciting. umptillion, trillion, Possibly too much so. Meeting a group of friends with the sunday magazines, I looked over entranced. What a great tiling! million, billion squared! I was mocked. Standing in front of the tiling was Natalie Portman So...how do we get people interested... Kid B: Plus one Saturday, 14 November 2009
  11. 11. ac e? ill Sp es es F /sh ap ap gs.org. For some uk Sh Maths is fun: o ww.tilin d w Puzzles, Games owhttp:// Summer Exhibition H Mathematicians playing Saturday, 14 November 2009
  12. 12. For others: Maths is beautiful Maths art, concrete art Saturday, 14 November 2009
  13. 13. m e H i zu ge. or g/ A k io .sta rca ww ://w http Both of these are still top down. Lots of people do sudoku, are they learning to think? A little but there are limits. People can look at pictures and find them beautiful without trying to understand them. Akio Hizume. Projects to build, to walk through...to DO Want to get people doing maths Present them with opportunities to build themselves If you have to make something you have to engage at a lower level Paper polyhedra Street maths is about getting people involved and creative with maths. Putting it in front of them, but also building something. Saturday, 14 November 2009
  14. 14. Project that started it... Make triangles Hinge People do the work... Saturday, 14 November 2009
  15. 15. Then need people to build it. But also to design it... Started with a talk on symmetry Made models: No symmetry People built models and then voted on which we would make. Smashed model Saturday, 14 November 2009
  16. 16. 5/ y st emx.php re S de 5 /in ._ lp tu s/w _No b.i m bla ste Scu . fa Sy ww re_ ://w lptu ttp cu h S Final result The design is open WANT other people to make them. Saturday, 14 November 2009
  17. 17. Hyperscope. Mirrors. People can build (or even design) then experience a world of negative cur vature. Saturday, 14 November 2009
  18. 18. auss -S tr an dmthb oow.ma u n. c om G m tp://ww h ai age C ht ain _P 33 ex.p 20 i/ind h p/M th /wik a du M k. e .u ar 20 33 Big influence on me: ath ://m Bamboo maths company. http Teaching this to students Saturday, 14 November 2009
  19. 19. ati cs th em Ma in g D o Gett ing th e ma teria Street maths is: Doing/building mathematics. l out Gettin f op en useo M ak ing tru cti on/ sc ons ac ces abs F abL Saturday, 14 November 2009

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