This blog is a writing experiment for the MTH 151 class taught at Miami University. The goal of this project is to expose the students to mathematics outside the classroom.
The student’s must maintain this blog throughout the semester. The main audience is the casual internet surfer, possibly with no mathematics background. Keep in mind that this is a public blog so anyone can read it. Here are a list of topics (many borrowed from the course site for Math 152). Please do not try to create duplicate entries. If you would like to reserve a topic be sure to send me an email!
Reusable Topics (10 points)
- What, in the course, got you excited and interested?
- Give a round-up of this week in the course and what you found interesting.
- Watch Numb3rs and complain (or praise) the mathematics in it.
- Find an article in the media (this can be online) that concerns mathematics and explain the mathematics.
- Find a misleading use of mathematics in the media.
- Find a cool mathematical video on YouTube and write about the math in it.
- Make a cool mathematical video on YouTube.
- Write about a mathematician.
- Explain a concept from the course that you found interesting.
- Your favorite recipe for . Bring an example to class 😉
- A review of a popular-science math book.
- A probability brainteaser, with discussion and hints. This includes posting the solution a few days later!
- Anything creative!
Specific Topics (10 points)
- What is a permutation?
- What is the pigeonhole principle?
- The Fifteen puzzle.
- Are there really any funny math jokes?
- Mathematics and art. Similarities? Differences? Make some of your own!
- The Millennium Problems.
- Creativity in the mathematical sciences.
- What math does someone on Wall Street use?
- Symmetry in art and aesthetics.
- What are truth tables?
- What is a prime number? What do mathematicians want to do with them?
- The philosophy of mathematics (questions like truth, infinity).
- Solution to the Rubik’s cube.
- Mathematical card tricks.
- Mathematics in gambling.
- Proof techniques (mathematical induction, contradiction, contrapositive).
- Mathematical games and logic puzzles such as sudoku, nonograms, etc…
- Any math or logic related topic from Mathworld or Wikipedia.
- A writing project from the Calculus book on one of the following pages: 153, 182, 206, 279, 307, 333, 399
Problems (10 Points)
Solve any one of the following Problem Plus problems. These problems are on the following pages: 171, 266, 352, 412, 448. Be clear and thorough in your solution and be sure to explain your thought process. You can also mention any difficulties you had solving the problem and any wrong solution methods. A good example write up is available on any of the listed pages. Make sure one of your classmates have not done the same problem. Below is a list of “recommended” problems:
- Chapter 2 (pp 171): #1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14
- Chapter 3 (pp 266): #3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29
- Chapter 4 (pp 352): #1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 20, 22
- Chapter 5 (pp 412): #1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16,
- Chapter 6 (pp 448): #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
There are a total of 20 points for this assignment. You must write on at least one specific topic. The other 10 points can be either a problem, reusable, or specific topic entry. The reusable and specific topic entries should be about 1 – 2 pages in length and have proper grammar and spelling. Keep in mind that this is a blog about mathematics so the content should heavily emphasize that (so minimize the fluff)!
You should read your fellow colleagues’ posts and comment on them. It shows that someone other than me is reading! Something like, “oh w0w that is so c00l,” is not really a constructive comment so try to be informative.
Extra Credit Opportunities
If you use in your post to typeset your mathematics you can earn 1 (one) bonus point on whatever entry you are posting. Be sure to add the tag “latex” when creating your post on WordPress. Exceptionally good posts may be awarded additional points (at my discretion).