Using high school math to work out the annual interest rate of Kobe Bryant’s brilliant investment

Kobe Bryant became a NBA legend with his smooth moves on the basketball court, it appears that he has some smooth moves off the court as well.  According to espn Kobe Bryant’s 6 million investment grew to become 2oo million in about four and a half years. http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/24384862/kobe-bryant-6m-investment-sports-drink-now-worth-200m   An application of the mathematics taught in the 11th grade is to work out the annual interest rate of Bryant’s investment using the compound interest formula. The following article discusses what investors should consider a “good rate of return”, and suggests that 15% to 20% is high and too much to…

Can you solve the most famous math problem in English Literature? How many were going to St Ives?

The following trick question appeared in the early 19th century in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme: As I was going to St Ives, I met a man with seven wives, Every wife had seven sacks, Every sack had seven cats, Every cat had seven kits, Kits, cats, sacks, wives, How many were going to St. Ives? Answer: 2, 800 do you know how we get this answer?  

How the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are connected

Recall that the golden ratio is a special irrational number that is approximately equal to 1.618.  It appears frequently in geometry, art, and architecture. Also recall that the Fibonacci sequence is the series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 … Each number is found by adding up the two numbers before it.  For example 5 is found by adding 3 and 2. German Astronomer Johannes Kepler once wrote that “as 5 is to 8, so 8 is to 13, approximately, and as 8 is to 13, so 13 is to 21, approximately”.  What Kepler…

Phi, the number that helps us make beautiful art

The Golden Ratio (phi) There are several well known “irrational numbers”, which are numbers that cannot be expressed as a ratio between two numbers and it cannot be written as a simple fraction because there is not a finite number of numbers when written as a decimal.  When irrational numbers are written as decimals the decimal would go on forever without repeating.  An irrational number you are probably very familiar with is pi or Π which is equal to 3.14159265359 …. it is the irrational number that helps us understand everything that is circular.   Another irrational number you may have…

The origin of the Fibonacci Sequence

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is found by adding the two previous numbers in the series.  Starting with 0 and 1, the sequence is … Term X0 X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8 X9 Value 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 The 2 is found by adding the two numbers before it ( 1+ 1) The 3 is also found by adding the two numbers before it (2 + 1) The 5 is found by adding the two numbers before it (3 + 2)  etc … If we…

How kids with dyscalculia may struggle socially

Dyscalculia makes life difficult.  Having dyscalculia usually makes math class a humiliating experience, it also makes some common everyday skills difficult as well. Knowing left from right, reading a clock, using standard instruments of measurement such as a ruler or measuring cup, courting money and making change are a few examples.   But perhaps the most painful problem dyscalculia gives us is the social challenges it creates.   We can always find a way to avoid numbers, in fact we spend most of our time NOT working with numbers. Math class only lasts about an hour a day.  But we are always social. We can never avoid being social no…

Dyscalculia… why its important we learn more about it

Here’s a simple question for you to answer, which number is larger 55 or 23? The answer is of course 55, most of us can answer this question in less than 0.5 seconds.  But there are a few who will take as long as 3 seconds.  These people may have something called dyscalculia.  Dyscalculia (also known as number blindness) is a condition in which a person’s number sense is defective.  People diagnosed with dyscalculia usually have problems correlating they symbol for a number (for example 7) with the number of objects the symbol represents.  Counting is also difficult for them.  This of course…