The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

CHROMATIC #, WEEK 6: No Mention of Aliens

(April 14, 2015)  In case you haven’t been following along, a bunch of 6-8 year olds have been tackling the Hadwiger-Nelson Problem (to determine the chromatic number of the plane) with the support of a narrative tale about aliens on a planet called Botso.  This week (our final), I dropped all references to the story.  The group engaged in an…

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Chromatic #, Week 4, Coloring the Plane

FUNCTION MACHINES (March 31, 2015)  The first student to present his Function Machine to the group was N.*  He drew the machine, then called on students whose hands were up to suggest “in” numbers.  He stated the out number for each, as follows: IN  OUT                           1                                 118                        20           20,089,000,000                           1                                 129                           2                             …

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Chromatic #, Week 3, The Number Line

(March 24, 2015) “This is the last function machine I will ever lead in this course,” I announced at the start of class.  “After today, you will take turns leading them.”  My function machine of the day produced 7 from 3, 17 from 8, 6259 from 3129, and so on.  In other words, f(x) = 2x + 1. We never…

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Chromatic #, Week 2, Acting It Out

CHROMATIC NUMBER, 2, ACTING IT OUT (March 17, 2015)  “What do you remember of our problem from last week?”  I asked.  The students called out details until the problem was pieced together. THE PROBLEM Here it is in everyday language:  What’s the fewest number of colors an astronaut can use to mark out territory to be sure that you are…

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Math Circle Blog: Aliens, Number Systems, and Contemplative Mathematics

Aliens, Number Systems, and Contemplative Mathematics “Some alien spies have been helping our captain.  It turns out that you were right: there are enemies hiding on the field behind the house.  The captain wants to know how many.  The alien photographer comes down and takes a picture of them, gives it to her captain, who writes it down and gives…

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