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Advertising and Memorization

Educators are quick to find fault with rote memorization. Companies with products to sell, however, will spend millions of dollars on rote memorization. Mindless repetition is the essence of advertising: a good image shown many times, a good slogan broadcast over and over again. It must work. That amount of money doesn’t often lie. Yet […]


Vi Hart: Math Promoter

Vi Hart tweeted a link to this song about Phi, the Golden Mean. It’s not quite a Bach fugue, but it’s real…or is it transcendental?. I ♥ φ  Λ  I ♥ ♥

Inverse Variation

Let’s assume you have a pie to share with your friends. Each will receive a piece the same size. Is it not intuitively obvious that the size of the piece varies inversely with the number of friends: more friends, smaller piece; fewer friends, bigger piece.

Direct Variation

The value of dimes varies directly with the number of dimes. This appears self-evident. That it can be expressed algebraically as v = md ought also to be obvious to intermediate algebra students. Yet it’s not. Why? Does anyone have an answer? I have been teaching direct and inverse variation in class this week and […]