As a break in calculus, the students tried to sketch the answer to Steven Strogatz‘s 4 dogs problem.  Here’s a great summation and exploration with Mike Lawler and his kids. Here’s half the class:

 

Really fun problem for them to think about. Here’s a simulation with a square, with an n-gon (with statistics), and with 150 dogs randomly arranged around a circle and tracking one another.

One student had a great question: What happens if one of the dogs is going faster than the others? Really neat twist to the problem. My favorite part of this quick break was getting through to the kids that this is how mathematicians think and do work. “What if?”, “Can we predict?” etc.

 

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October 30, 2015

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