Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spread the Word

20121127 So my Pastor wants to spread the Word across the entire area. I see one way as starting Maker Spaces. There is no better way to bond with friends or strangers than doing creative works. It doesn’t have to be as formal as a Church service on Sunday. It could be a Maker Space with underlining principles of Christianity. Believing in Jesus does take much knowledge of the Bible. Attracting new people means that they are not turned away from something they do not fully understand. In American society we are always competing. It makes differences and barriers occur. Creative works such as computers or art bring people together. This is where it is awarded to be different and show self-expression. Right away the participants have learned a lesson to love people as they are; for who they are. It concept could be to that similar to a youth group only events would be open to everyone no matter what faith or age. The idea of a Maker Space is changing the way people come together. A Christian Maker Space only adds potential to change the World.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Happy Math Accident

Four Hundred Twenty First Post: "A Happy Math Accident" (20091217)

Ok, so I've been told my latest math problem, the "trigonometric parabola", is a bunch of rubbish and I should take it down. There is a lot of truth to this suggestion. But I am not going to take it down, no matter how impractical it may seem.

I never make corrections to my math work on Constructors Corner. I only amend them. I do this to show progression of the work. Besides if I took down ideas that didn't work I would be constantly changing what once appeared on the site. This would confuse readers who reread a math problem.

But I still believe the idea is there even though my work has many errors. For some reason when I plugged in numbers I was getting a match of a right triangle. I even drew the triangle in Auto Cad with the values I calculated. But looking over my work I saw several errors. I corrected it and got a parabola. That is: y(x) = (x^2) - (2 *x) + 0

This time the values of Primes fit the parabola. It maybe not that impressive because all parabolas have Prime numbers on them. However it did have a pattern. And that patterned worked for small Prime numbers. (Small meaning less than a thousand.) The pattern was that when x was Prime: y = x * the previous Prime number. It may just might be worth tinkering with.

I am not claiming that I can solve a pattern in Prime numbers. I am merely testing a "hunch". I know my last equation was cubic. But for numbers not between -1 and 1 I believe it can be treated as a parabola. That is if the equation manipulation is correct.

So instead of setting phasers on max set them to stun. Meaning only a problem to tinker with when short of ideas.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I think there's a pattern...maybe...possibly

Four Hundred Twentieth Post: I think there's a pattern...maybe...possibly

This post will be short and simple. The parabola whose length between the focus and a point on a parabola equals a Prime number starting at 3; should have a pattern between Prime numbers is:

y = (3.032 * x^2) + (0.7579)

At least I think if my math was right. Try and find a pattern for yourself!

As Spock would say: "Fascinating"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"It is So a Parabola"

Four Hundred Nineteeth Post: "It is So a Parabola" (20091126)

I don't know if you are reading this Blog if you follow along with the projects on Constructors Corner. I am writing on update on the "Trigonometric Parabola" because this is the most convient place.

I posted the trig parabola because to me it made sense. I had been working with similar ideas for quite some time. My first post was not easily understood. I wrote it around how I thought about the problem. So I simplified it in another post. I still believe there is an idea there; an important one if not several.

No one actually wanted to read the problem all the way through. If they did they would see it is just a simple idea with many steps. Others claimed that elementary mathematics was not enough to solve the problem.

For those who read on, they told me the equation [(3x^2) + (1/X) - 23] was cubic and not quadratic. They had a point but I believe for all values not between negative one and one, the quadratic equation will work. It doesn't work for those values between negative one and one, because of division by zero.

This parabola: [(3x^2) + (1/X) - 23] is not the parabola that shows a possible series of Prime numbers. Instead it is used to find the place of a segment (which equals a Prime number) from the focus to a point on the parabola. On the second parabola just discussed, Prime number segements all meet at the focus. All work up until this point was to find this special parabola.

Yes, the idea needs lots of work. But none the less it is interesting. So definitely check out the math work on the "ideas and gadgets---math" section on the menu bar on the top of the screen.

Friday, October 09, 2009

3rd Post in Improving Education

Four Hundred Eighteenth Post: 3rd Post in Improving Education (20091009)

This is the third blog entry about improving education in the United States. Most of these ideas would not cost millions.

The U.S. has a bad reputation with math. It is not that all high school math programs are bad. There are some great teachers and challenging courses. The only problem is that such programs only reach the advanced students which are only a small percentage of the student population. Also the quality of math programs range from school to school.

The quality of education is the teachers responsibility. However, it is the student’s responsibility in the amount of work is put into the class. Students need to learn the proper approach to learning math. There is a clear difference between learning arithmetic in elementary school and other math such as algebra and geometry.

The first problem is that you must study for math like algebra and geometry. That is, as apposed to arithmetic in elementary school where you spend hours of instruction in class. With more advanced math the more of the workload that has to be done outside of class.

Bad study habits are another area that needs improved. It is nearly impossible to “cram” for a math test. Keeping a running knowledge is essential. Look at the graph of a function. It is change over “time”. Similarly math knowledge is work over time.

So what can teachers do? Teachers must create interesting lessons. In the book, “Writing Math Research Papers”, by Robert Gerver, it is suggested to use math research projects as a learning tool. It does not mean that the fundamentals and standard course work is not taught. Instead the research complements the standard material. The project is about a semester long with the student working applying what they have learned.

From my college experience when the lessons were augmented with projects or extra content, I always was more interested. Of course that doesn’t mean the fundamentals are important, I just enjoy solving hard problems or working on a lab that relates the math to real life. In fact that is why I put the “Arched Doorway” problem on Constructor’s Corner. If I could have solved it then I would have received an automatic “A” in the class.

Of course, I understand the challenges that teachers face. How do they make a course challenging that it will not isolate those who do not understand the material. Sometimes when the student does not get an “A” the parents don’t like it. Alternatively, if the teacher teaches the test they are blamed for the lack of standards. But I believe research projects can correct this problem to a certain extent. How? Students often complain that things they learn in the classroom are not applicable to “the real world”. So if the teacher gives them a research project they learn that life is not structured into grades. In other words what you do in life and want to accomplish isn’t just about getting an “A”. There is a much deeper meaning.

So, off topic, adding hours to the school days does nothing. It doesn’t even make sense. If I was going to increase hours of schools, I would do it by making at least one extra curricular activity mandatory. But kids don’t usually respond well when you force them to do something.

So ends the 3rd post in improving education.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not Chess Spock, Poker

Four Hundred Seventeenth Post: Not Chess Spock, Poker (20090821)

I have yet to see the new Star Trek movie, but from the reviews those who are fans will not be happy it is just a fast paced action movie. It’s the little things like changing the phaser design.

But I was doing some thinking. The Star Trek book series are awesome, especially those written by William Shatner. I have an idea for a defensive weapon.

This weapon would work on transporter technology. When a weapon was fired at a lone person a transporter belt worn by would beam the person and area around them (the disruptor’s blast) and remove the fired disruptor’s blast from the transporter’s scheme. This has been done on STNG when a phasor’s discharge was removed before one of the crew appeared in the transporter room.

There are other applications too. This transporter belt could reverse the direction of the beam and send it towards the enemy. Do you remember when Kirk threatened an alien not to fire at the Enterprise because it would increase the strength of the beam and shoot it back to where it was fired?

Also if a disruptor beam does get through and hit a Star Fleet member, the transporter belt could reverse the effect of the disintegration cause by the disruptor. So as the atoms of the Star Fleet member where scattered, the transporter would have the information to put the molecules back together.

Live Long and Prosper

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2nd Post in Improving Education

Four Hundred Sixteenth Post: 2nd Post in Improving Education (20090820)

This is the second musing of how to improve education without spending more money. This post has to deal with improving students attitude.

You may believe that teachers are not to blame for children’s attitudes. And to some extent that is very true. But it can also just become another excuse for a failing education system. Teachers are more than instructors they are also the leaders of the classroom.

Ok, so that is easy to blog about, how do we motivate students. The method is simple and that is to teach them the things that interest them.

In public schools students range from many different abilities. After a standard lecture they should be working at their own pace. But instead of letting a student be on chapter 30 while another is on chapter 3, the teacher should have bonus work to explore. Have the student pick a relevant that interests them. So if a student finishes a story in reading class, let them read a book that interests them say a Star Trek novel. That is just simple. The teacher can latter ask questions about the book and take interest in what their students are interested in.

The same applies to math class. Puzzle books are as cheap as $5. The teacher could set up a “puzzle palace” on a table in the back of the classroom. Then encourage students to work together. What better way to motivate students then to know when they finish their lessons they can play with puzzles with the other students.

On the podcast “This Week in Tech,” it is often mentioned how the company Google encourages its workers to work on “creative works”. That is they work on special projects that interests them. They have had great success with this. So why should school be any different? Instead of punishing kids for not working why not give them an incentive to work?