# Invetsigation Ideas

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by kevinbertman, Jun 15, 2011.

1. ### kevinbertman

As part of a recent mathematics workshop I was asked to create a blog with ideas for maths investigations. I would like people to take a look if you don't mind: http://kevinbertman.edublogs.org/
So far I have included:
Phantom Traffic Jams &ndash; Traffic jams often appear out of nowhere. Use this tutorial to set up a mathematical simulation.
Hypotrochoids (Spirographs) &ndash; Learn how to use Excel to create beautiful hypotrochoids.
Cartograms (Population Maps) - Use Microsoft Word&rsquo;s drawing tools to create a map where the area of each country is proportional to its population.
Rogue Waves - Use Excel to investigate and simulate the formation of rogue waves.
Fractal Trees - Grow fractal trees in Google Sketchup.
Stereoscopic Images - Use Google Sketchup to create stereoscopic images that can be viewed through red-green lenses

2. ### ResourceFinder

For what audience/purpose?

3. ### krb102

To share ideas with other math teachers.

Ok

5. ### ResourceFinder

I found the website a bit complex at first

I have looked at the Traffic Lights one ... it seemed too detailed to me ... Is the idea that the teacher builds the
spreadsheet or the student ... if the student what age ... if the teacher I struggled to see how I would use it
with a group ... would there be a variable input and output sheet (is that in part 2)

Sorry to seem negative ... You have clearly put a lot of work in ... I think I am just not sure of the purpose so not sure how to use it

6. ### kevinbertman

Excel is a very good program for creating interactive mathematical models of real life situations. The traffic idea is an example of that, although I admit it is quite long. In part 2 the sheet will get its own buttons to change the reaction time , the initial spacing of the cars etc (just like the buttons here: http://kevinbertman.edublogs.org/files/2011/06/hypotrochoids-pqqvlh.xls). Once students see an example like this they find it easier to set up a mathematical model of a new situation, for example using Excel to simulate the flight of a golf ball, both with and without air resistance, and then using the spreadsheet that they created to perform a virtual experiment. I cannot say what age each idea is for as I teach internationally and one country's grade 10 students is another country's grade 7 students.

7. ### ResourceFinder

ok ... that is what I was asking

With those I can see how the spreadsheet can be used

Clearly with some groups it can be deconstructed

Perhaps I picked a bad one to look at first as this one seems very complex ... I would have thought that if the purpose were to encourage students to deconstruct a model so that they can build their own would t be better to start with something that can be easily understood in the first place

8. ### kevinbertman

My students understand it quite well.

9. ### ResourceFinder

Right, sorry, thought you were looking for feedback

My mistake