What do baby parabolas drink? -Quadratic formula!The graph of a quadratic function is a parabola. This is the shape that you often see when the motion of a projectile is illustrated (such as a ball being tossed in the air). Quadratic functions look like ax^2 + bx + c = f(x), and have two values of x that make the whole function equal to zero (that is, there are two numbers that make this equation true ax^2 + bx + c = 0). To find those two numbers, we often use the quadratic formula. Coincidentally, formula is also a word used when describing a milk-substitute for babies. So baby parabolas need their quadratic formula!
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What did the witch doctor say to remove the geometry student's curse? - Hex-a-gon! Geometry is the branch of mathematics concerned with the properties and relations of points, lines, surfaces, solids, and higher dimensional analogs. This means that geometry also examines objects like polygons (shapes). There are many well known polygons such as the 4-sided square, the 8-sided octagon, and the 6-sided hexagon. Coincidentally, the prefix which means six, hex-, has another meaning in the English language. Hex: n. a magic spell; a curse. So all together the witch doctor removes the student's curse, making sure that hex is gone! Rancher: Did you get all 40 sheep? Sheep dog: Yup! Rancher: But I only count 37 sheep? Sheep dog: I rounded them up! Sheep dogs are often enlisted by farmers to "round up" sheep. That is, the dogs help chase sheep to keep them in a herd so that no sheep wanders off or to move sheep from one location to another. In mathematics, we use the term "round up" to mean finding a nearby benchmark number (such as a multiple of 10) to round to. Numbers like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc. are generally thought of as round numbers that we are familiar with. Numbers like 31, 28, or 37 can be thought of as sharp numbers. Thus our sheep dog rounded the sharp number, 37, up to a round number, 40. If Dr. Seuss wrote math books...Dr. Seuss is a well known author of whimsical children's books (loved by many adults as well). One of his more well known books is "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." If you read the numbers above aloud, you will find that it sounds remarkably similar to this book's title. One fifth, two fifth, red fifth, blue fifth! Teacher: How many sides does a square have? Student: Six! While the teacher was expecting the answer 4 sides (the number of edges in this polygon). The creative student included two other types of sides (inside and outside) boosting the count to 6. Fun fact: proving something has an inside and an outside can be awfully tricky (see Jordan Curve Theorem). |
## AuthorChristina Lommatsch has a PhD in Mathematics Education. She loves to use humor in her teaching for both understanding and entertainment. ## Archives
January 2019
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