Good Game, Vol 3.: Armor Logic 2

In the spirit of Minesweeper, Armor Games brings Armor Logic 2, which is a logic game that uses number clues to give away the location of white boxes hidden within the playing area. This games starts easy and quickly becomes more and more difficult.

The reason that I love this game is that it plays off the basic if-then thought process. If there is a “2” above this column, then there can only be two white boxes hidden in that column. It gives you a set of givens and you need to use a deductive thought process to discover the pattern… which is exactly what we do in geometry. If you can master this game, you can master proof! Guaranteed!

Good Game, Vol. 2: Interlocked

Interlocked, by Armor Games, could be the game that most strongly speaks to my undeveloped spatial reasoning skills (an odd skill set for a geometry teacher, I know.)

However, for developing a stronger ability to visualize three-dimensional objects, I have seen no match. This game consists of figures put together in such a way that you can only move one at a time. Your job is to analyze each figure from the different views and then get the pieces apart. Sounds simple, but wait until you try it.

Good Game, Vol. 1: Taberinos

I already talked about Taberinos in Too Smart For That Game, but I figured it deserved it’s own post.

ArmorGames produced a masterpiece in this simple, yet elegant game that takes advantage of the conservation of momentum and the laws of reflection. In this game, the object is to eliminate all of the line segments from the playing area by striking them with a little blue ball. You click to project the ball and it remains in motion until “friction” uses all initial kinetic energy, slowing the ball to a stop. You only have a limited number of shots, so the trick becomes to eliminate as many segments as possible with each shot.

I have never played past level 15, but by all evidence, it seems like one could continue playing until they lost… forever, if they are good enough.

Try the game and post your experiences, feedback and the like in the comments.

Rotations: Edible Animations

Alimation from Alexandre DUBOSC on Vimeo.

This remarkable video demonstrates the Zoetrope Effect. Zoetropes are devices that simulate animation through the use of quickly rotating a series of different images. In this case, the images are colored into the icing of cakes.

Suppose you wanted to make one of these, (perhaps not a cake, but something that you could rotate to simulate animation), what are the variables? What would we have to consider if we wanted to create something like this in class? What questions would we have to answer before we decided to start? What questions would we have to answer later – before we could finish and present the final product?

Post your ideas in the comments.

The Roy Problem, Vol. 1

All right, so there is a former student of mine who is about as competitive a student as I have ever had. Regardless of what class he is taking, he wants to be the best mathematician in the classroom, teacher included.

In the last week, he has taken to creating composite geometric figures that give as little information as possible while maintaining their ability to be solved. His goal is to stump me. So, I am going to post the problem to all of you.

Below is the first example that I will post. He has asked for the area and perimeter of the large composite figure. The curve on the bottom is a semicircle. Post clarifying questions in the comments. Enjoy.

The Roy Problem, vol. 2

180-Degree Stars

Here’s another clip by Dr. Tanton. This clip proves that any 5-pointed star will have interior angles whose angles sum to 180-degrees.

As you watch this video, make sure to take special note of the method that gets used to prove this conjecture. Is it inductive? Is it deductive?

This is a great example of someone “proving” a statement without seeming like he is “doing a proof.”

For the record, I also like his statement regarding the basic geometric angle sums: 180 and 360. Listen for that.

Math Rushmore

I am fascinated by Mount Rushmore. First of all, the fact that during the great depression, funding and technology allowed for 60-foot likenesses to be carved into a granite mountain face is incredible to me. Apparently, I am not the only one. According to the Wikipedia site for Mount Rushmore, over 2 million people visit Mount Rushmore each year.

Mount Rushmore

But, let’s turn our fascination to the incredible opportunities that we have with these carvings to look at. What kind of math can we do with four gigantic granite carvings of four dead presidents? (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt)

I suspect a lot.

First question that sticks out in my mind: What would the Mount Rushmore George Washington’s hat size be?

How tall would Abe Lincoln be if his face where really that big? Or how tall would his signature top hat be?

Jefferson is on the American nickel, right? How big would a nickel be to fit the Mount Rushmore Jefferson head on it? How much would that nickel be worth? Certainly more than 5 cents.

Or what if Roosevelt sneezed? Just askin’…

Can you think of any other questions? Or can you answer any of my curiosities?

Add your flavor to the comments.