The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Stable Marriage, part 2

(October 5, 2017) We continued work on the Stable Marriage Problem today. After a discussion of the field of mathematics known as game theory, I put on the board the Jane Austen example that Emily Rhiel used in her Numberphile video. Six students used this example to teach the Gale Shapley algorithm to two students who had not been in…

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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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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 #7: We Want to Think

(May 28, 2013)  Seventy-five minutes.  No future sessions.  Four kids.  Five proofs.  What to do? This was the dilemma facing our Math Circle today.  I’d been deliberating all week over how best to use our last session.  So many proofs.  So little time. I gave the decision to the kids in attendance, R, P, N, and G.  Our options:  a…

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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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PROOFS #5: Debating the Merits of Proofs

  THEOREM:          A cat has nine tails. PROOF:                1.  No cat has 8 tails.                                 2.  One cat has one more tail than no cats.  Therefore, a cat has nine tails.1 (May 14, 2013)  We began today’s Math Circle debating the merits of the cat-has-nine-tails “proof.”  N stood at the board diagramming “my” reasoning.  G came up to…

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