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Top Math Photos of 2014

Here are the most popular Math Photos from for 2014.  Click here to see more.

Escalating Ellipses Undersea Rose Curve Solids of Revolution
Ten Pi Radians Manhole Math Art Non-Fibonacci Flooring


Math Haiku: Geometry Class

I personally enjoy writing, and as a math teacher I love getting my students writing about math.

One of my favorite writing assignments for students is math-themed haiku.  The rigid constraints of haiku make it an easy exercise, it allows students to access and interact with mathematical ideas in a different and creative way, and the elegance and efficiency of the for evoke the character of mathematics itself.

Here are some selections from this year’s Geometry class.  Enjoy!

We are both equal

We look exactly the same

We are congruent

Postulates assumed

Leading to certain theorems

Web of proof and math

Three lines have congerged

Meeting at a single point

They are concurrent

Scalene triangles

Angles are dissimilar

Sides are unalike


A simple explanation

For congruent things

Math is easy now

Calculators do all the work

Sit back and relax

You can find more of my resources for writing in math class here.

Circumcircles in Desmos

Circumcircle in DesmosI’m presenting on Desmos at today’s AMAPS meeting in New York City, and preparing my talk was an object lesson in how wonderful this technology is.

Part of my presentation demonstrates simple ways that Desmos can be a part of every high school math class:  Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.  While Geogebra is generally more suitable for demonstrating and exploring geometry, Desmos certainly can be useful in that course, so I wanted to show something relevant and interesting as part of my talk.  I thought, “Why not compute the circumcircle for an arbitrary triangle?”

While all the pieces of the mathematical puzzle were there for me, figuring out how to put them together in Desmos was a fun, frustrating, and worthwhile challenge.  I had to play around with the basic concepts associated with perpendicular bisectors and think creatively about some mathematical problems and equations.  I even ended up using the new regression feature in Desmos in a clever way!

I often get caught up in little challenges like this, and this is why Desmos is so wonderful:  it provides us a mathematical makerspace.  It invites us to play around, to create, to engineer, to build.  And all of this happens through using the language and concepts of mathematics.

You can see my circumcircle demonstration here, and you can find more of my work in Desmos here.

Math Photo: Dendroconcentricity

Naturally Concentric

I’ve always loved tree rings, in part because the word dendrochronology fascinated me a child.  This lovely cross-section evokes so many mathematical ideas:  concentricity, network theory, and polar representations, to name a few.

12/04/14 — Happy Permutation Day!

Today we celebrate another Permutation Day!  I call days like today permutation days because the digits of the day and month can be rearranged to form the year.


Celebrate Permutation Day by mixing things up!  Try doing things in a different order today.  Just remember, for some operations, order definitely matters!