Blog posts

one week to go until exams 26 April 2015

Here is an activity that I have found to be very effective revision for Maths HL exams.I have written 10 exam questions for section A of a Paper 1 practice (mock) exam and and another 10 questions for... more

Geometry problem in work of art 11 April 2015

During the years 1795 to 1805 the famous English poet, printmaker and painter William Blake (1757-1827) created a color print entitled Newton, shown below.The work of art depicts a naked Isaac Newton... more

pi day 2015 14 March 2015

If you accept the American style of writing a date (month first, then the day) then today you'll be celebrating Day - when the date 3.14 matches the first few digits of . But this year it's a bit more... more

A Galton Board 10 March 2015

Some day I'm going to build my very own Galton Board (also known as a quincunx). It's a fantastic device for experimentally demonstrating a binomial distribution or binomical coefficients. Without a real... more

Exploration idea #497 1 March 2015

I recently learned of the following interesting property for a parabola:Many students do not know what the directrix of a parabola is - which is a bit of a shame because then they are not aware of the... more

Exploration idea #496 18 February 2015

Today in Maths HL class we were using a model of a regular tetrahedron (right triangular pyramid with four faces that are equilateral triangles) to help visualize a particular problem in trigonometry.... more

maths competition 2 February 2015

I had a very enjoyable time this past weekend in London at the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation (ISMTF) senior mathematics competition that was organized and hosted by the American... more

distribution of primes on calculator 28 January 2015

It all started out of a conversation between students during a short break in one of my maths classes. The focus of their conversation was a poster I have in my classroom which lists all the prime numbers... more

CAS - why not? 22 December 2014

In the mathematical world, CAS stands for computer algebra system, not creativity, action & service.Any calculator (I prefer the word "device") with CAS is not allowed to be used on an IB exam. But, in... more

Is Reality a Mathematical Structure? 15 December 2014

The Swedish-American cosmologist Max Tegmark thinks that the answer to this question is yes. In the video clip below (from the BBC2 Horizon documentary What is Reality? - February 2011), he says, "I think... more