The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

The Stable Marriage Problem (Gale Shapley Algorithm)

(October 2, 2017) I discovered this problem and was so excited – my students would love it, it directly tied in to the topic of our course, and it was a good example of a mathematical algorithm that all of the students would have sufficient math background to work. I wanted to do it right away, so I discarded my…

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RIVER CROSSING: Missionaries and Cannibals, Polya

(May 19, 2015) Only R and J were there;  the rest of the kids were out sick.  We didn’t want to continue with the Dark Bridge/Unicorn problem without the others, so we tackled the famed river crossing problem Missionaries and Cannibals:  In the missionaries and cannibals problem, three missionaries and three cannibals must cross a river using a boat which…

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PROVING STUFF: Mathematical Thinking with Five-Year-Olds, 3.0

CLOCK JUMPING – SELF-DOUBT, LOOKING FOR PATTERNS (April 1, 2014) Things started out smoothly enough.  The clock was taped to the floor, and the kids were ready to jump on it.  Will you land on every number if you count by four?  They did this without me, and added a new approach:  everyone started on a different number, and half…

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PROOFS #6: Math as Art, Collaboration, and Spectator Event

(May 21, 2013)  There’s more than one way to prove the vertical angle theorem:  verbally, numerically, algebraically (with various approaches), intuitively, visually.  Our Math Circle participants debated and attempted them all.  When the theorem was finally proven algebraically, everyone smiled.  It was a satisfying proof.  And it was fun.  And we learned on the way.  Some highlights: N asked “What…

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Math Circle Blog: Signaling Problem Solution via Proof by Contradiction

Signaling Problem Solution via Proof by Contradiction December 11, 2012: We began our final session of our Signalling Problem Math Circle with a few rounds of Exploding Dots, this time in binary.  The large number of explosions in binary (base two) compared to decimal (base ten) was such fun.  I asked the group how many different numbers could be represented…

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