Studying for an exam in mathematics is not fun for many students. The biggest complaint I get about studying for a math exam is the amount of concepts that have to be reviewed in order to prepare. I always feel disappointed when I hear students tell me how much anxiety preparing for a math exam is causing them. As a mathematics teacher I always hope students can see how the concepts we work on over the semester connect with each other (wishful thinking on my part I know!) . Ideally by the time exams come around they understand the concepts so well (because they see the connection between…

# Secrets Behind Math Magic Trick Unveiled !

Here is a neat math trick I learned from Alex Bellos’ book “Here’s looking at Euclid”. The Trick Start by picking any three digit number where the first and last digits differ by at least two. For example 421. The revers it’s digits … 124 Subtract the smaller number from the bigger number 421 – 124 = 297 Reverse this result and add the two numbers … 297 + 792 = 1089 Now try this with any other three digit number whose first and last digits differ by at least two … say 519 reverse of 519 is 915 difference…

# The Man Who Knew Infinity

There are not many movies about mathematics or mathematicians and there are even less popular movies about the subject (Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind are a couple of examples). So when I saw the movie “The Man Who Knew Infinity” on Netflix I eagerly watched it. I remember seeing a picture of Srinivasa Ramanujan in my math text book when I was a high school student and reading a small caption about him telling me that he was a brilliant mathematician who developed theorems despite having grown up in poverty without formal education. I wanted to watch the movie because I wanted to know…

# Unnecessary division limiting progress in mathematical education

When I was in school, mathematics was the king of the education world. Few questioned its importance. Students who excelled at the subject were perceived to be “smart”, and were often praised for their work ethic as they practiced math problems from a textbook or worksheet on a daily basis . Even if many students did not fully understand why it was so highly regarded , they accepted the fact that math was THE academic subject. Fast forward to 2016, math is now struggling to hang on to its identity of being one of the most important subjects we learn in school. These days many students seem to ask why…

# Do the statistics prove that Stephen Curry is a three point shooting genius?

It was one of the best highlights of the 2015 – 2016 NBA season. February 27 2016, Golden State vs Oklahoma, 4 seconds left in the overtime … game tied, 118 – 118. Golden State guard and league MVP Stephen Curry dribbles the ball up court along the left side. Three point three seconds left … Curry reaches half court. Two point nine seconds … Curry has taken about two steps past the half court line (about 10 feet behind the three-point line and about 33 feet from the basket) and decides he is close enough to the basket to…

# How the Pythagorean Theorem says the Blue Jays will win the American League East Division!

I’ll bet you might still remember the Pythagorean Theorem from grade 9 math class. You know the one that related the sides of the any right angle triangle with a2 + b2 = c2, where c is the “hypotenuse” while a & b are the lengths of the other two sides. You’ve probably even know how to use it to solve “find the length of the missing side” problems. What you may not know is that it is actually able to help you make remarkably accurate predictions about how many games a baseball team will win based on how many…

# What high school math is all about!

Relationships are a huge part of the secondary school experience. You form all sorts of relationships with people in your school. In English class you study Romeo and Juliet, in social science classes you often learn about Canada’s relationship with other countries, in health class you learn about the human body’s relationship to diet and nutrition. Math class is no different, we learn about relationships between variables. Steven Strogatz mathematics professor at Cornell University and author of “The Joy of x” says that high school level math essentially involves one of two activities, solving equations and working with formulas. The…