July 2011 MATH e-NEWSLETTER

This more or less quarterly Math e-Newsletter is sent out mainly in Southern Africa, but has information that may be of interest to others from different parts of the world. Please e-mail me at profmd@mweb.co.za if you'd like to be on the mailing list. (Also please say if you specifically want it sent to you as an e-mail or whether you prefer downloading/reading it from my homepage and just receiving a notification).

For the PREVIOUS two e-Newsletters go to:

http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/profmd/newsletter1.html

and the one
before that from:

http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/profmd/newsletter2.html

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PLEASE
FORWARD TO ALL INTERESTED IN MATHEMATICS & SCIENCE EDUCATION

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Dear
Colleagues & friends

Happy
Madiba day, 18 July! Hope you all spent a little time in service to others in recognition of the great man. This newsletter is my own modest contribution.

1. **HOMEPAGE
UPDATE**

My
homepage at http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/profmd/homepage4.html
has been updated with the following new items:

1)
"Equi-angled cyclic and equilateral circumscribed polygons", PDF (2011)

2)
2010 "Reflections on Van Hiele" paper now available in Portuguese &
Croatian

3)
mathematical/mathematics education quote

4)
mathematics/science cartoon.

My
dynamic geometry sketches Link at http://math.kennesaw.edu/~mdevilli/JavaGSPLinks.htm
has been updated with the following (new & revised) sketches:

1)
Fermat-Torricelli point generalizations (updated)

2)
Semi-regular angle-gons and side-gons (new)

3)
Some parallelo-hexagon areas (updated)

4)
Some unproved conjectures (updated)

and the Student Explorations section with:

1)
Collinear conjecture (new)

2)
Gielis Super-shape formula (new)

3)
Napoleon variation problem (new)

4)
Paul Yiu's problem and a generalization (new)

Please
REFRESH pages if they don't load properly the first time.

2.
**NEW SOFTWARE**

Tinkerplots
2, the innovative data handling software for younger learners (and quite
adequate for Math Literacy in the South African Curriculum) not only has some
great new features, but is now available as a **download**. Hence, it is available at a lower
cost than before, e.g. currently at about R150 for a student license and about
R370 for a Single User (and even lower for bulk orders). For more information
and to download a free demo go to http://www.keypress.com/x5715.xml
Please contact dynamiclearn@mweb.co.za for more information and to order.

3.
**BOOKS/PROCEEDINGS**

** **

The
books below might be valuable additions to add to your university, school or
personal libraries.** **

** **

a)
**Exploring Number and Operations in Grades 3–5 with Sketchpad 5**

b)
**Exploring Geometry and Measurement in Grades 3–5 with Sketchpad 5**

c)
**Exploring Ratio, Proportion, and Probability in Grades 6–8 with Sketchpad
5**

(For
more info about the above 3 books or to order please contact dynamiclearn@mweb.co.za )

d)
**The Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics: Considerations and Challenges, **download FREE PDF from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10055

e)
**Statistics for People
Who (Think they) Hate Statistics**, 2nd Edition Excel 2007 Edition by Neil J Salkind from University
of Kansas, SAGE publishers. 2010.

f)
**Sweet Reason: A field guide to modern logic**. 1995, By Thomas
Tymoczko, James M. Henle. (For more info or to order please contact dynamiclearn@mweb.co.za )

g)
**AMESA (Assoc. Math. Ed. of South Africa) Congress 2011 Proceedings** are now available online at http://www.amesa.org.za/amesa2011/Proceedings.htm )

4.
**WEBSITES & MORE DOWNLOADS**

a) Useful
free book for Math Competition & Olympiad Enthusiasts on "Elementary
Number Theory" at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26455476/Math-Elementary-Number-Theory

b) View a
video clip or read the transcript of Conrad Wolfram's 2010 talk "Stop
teaching calculating; start teaching math" at http://www.computerbasedmath.org/resources/reforming-math-curriculum-with-computers.html

c) Free
Interactive Math Crossword Puzzles Online at http://www.mathgoodies.com/puzzles/crosswords/icircle1.html

d) PROJECT
MATHEMATICS by Tom Apostel at http://www.projectmathematics.com/
has several wonderful short video clips on topics for classroom use such as
Similarity, Pythagoras, Pi, Sine and Cosine, History of Math, Polynomials, etc.

e) SAGE-
Viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica, and Matlab
Sage is free open source math software that supports research and teaching in
algebra, geometry, calculus, elementary to very advanced number theory,
cryptography, numerical computation, commutative algebra, group theory,
combinatorics, graph theory, and exact linear algebra. Download for Win, Linux
and Mac at http://www.sagemath.org/

f) The
Community for Undergraduate Learning in the Mathematical Sciences Newsletter is
available online at www.math.auckland.ac.nz/CULMS/newsletters

g)
International lists of Mathematics Educations journals are available at http://mathedjournals.wikispaces.com/
and http://www.crme.soton.ac.uk/links/journals.html

h)
Download a number of great
articles for free from NCTM's three journals, "Teaching Children
Mathematics", "Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School" and
"Mathematics Teacher" at http://iem.nctm.org/display.php?M=1333613&C=e1230c7d7a5c78229b97f9bb794d9c51&S=955&L=36&N=963

i)
Curriki is an online environment created to support the development and free
distribution of world-class educational materials to anyone who needs them. It is a great place to find
and post classroom activities and course curriculum. Go to http://www.curriki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome

j)
A list of articles and their abstracts from the Far East Journal of
Mathematical Education, May 2011, is available at http://pphmj.com/journals/articles/761.htm

5. **CONFERENCES**

a) BRIDGES
2011 Conference: Connections between Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture,
Culture, Univ of Coimbra, Portugal, July 27-31, 2011. URL: http://bridgesmathart.org/bridges-2011/

b) 11th
International Conference of The Mathematics Education into the 21st Century Project:
'Turning Dreams into Reality: Transformations and Paradigm Shifts in
Mathematics Education', 10-16 September 2011, Rhodes University, Grahamstown,
South Africa. Download the First Announcement and Call for Papers at: http://math.unipa.it/~grim/21project.htm
E-mail, Alan Rogerson, Programme Chair at alan@rogerson.pol.pl

c) The ATCM
and Chinese Association of Mathematics Education is launching the ATCM-China
chapter (http://atcm.mathandtech.org/China
) and its first meeting is to be held at Xi'an, China during August 3-6,
2011. The ATCM local chapter is
meant to promote the exchanges of students-centered projects where
technological tools are being implemented creatively in solving real-life
problems.

d) The 16th
Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics (ATCM 2011 http://atcm.mathandtech.org), which is
going to be hosted by the Abantzzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey at the
beautiful five star BÂyÂk Abant hotel, September 19-23 of 2011.

e) ICMI
Study 21 entitled "Mathematics Education and Language diversity". The
two co-chairs are Mamokgethi Setati, University of South Africa, and Maria Do
Carmo Domite, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Discussion Document may be found at the study website at
http://www.icmi-21.com/index.php?page_id=140
and the Study Conference will be held on 16 - 20 September 2011 in Sao Paulo,
Brazil.

f) The 2011
International Conference on School Mathematics Textbooks (ICSMT 2011) will be
held during October 12-14, 2011 in Shanghai, China and hosted by East China
Normal University (ECNU). The theme of ICSMT 2011 is to explore trends and
characteristics of school mathematics textbooks around the world. Official
website of ICSMT 2011 at: http://math.ecnu.edu.cn/academia/icsmt/mainpage.html

g) The ISTE
International Conference on Mathematics, Science and Technology Education,
Kruger Park, South Africa, 17-20 October 2011. Theme: "Towards Effective
Teaching and Meaningful Learning in Mathematics, Science and Technology
Education". URL: http://www.unisa.ac.za/iste-conference

h) CARN
Conference 2011 (Collaborative Action Research Network) at http://ius.uni-klu.ac.at/misc/carn/

Bringing a
different world into existence: Action research as a trigger for innovations,
4th - 6th November, 2011

Vienna.

i) 1st
Computer-Based Math Education Summit. Organised by http://computerbasedmath.org in
association with Wolfram Research at The Royal Institution, London, 10-11
November 2011. Visit:

http://www.computerbasedmath.org/events/londonsummit2011/

j) Volcanic
Delta 2011, the Eighth Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and
Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics, will be held in Rotorua,
NZ from 27th November to 2nd December 2011. To express your interest in the
conference or find further information please visit www.delta2011.co.nz

k) Joint
Mathematics Meeting of the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS) and the
American Mathematical Society (AMS) at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University,
Port Elizabeth, 29 November – 3 December 2011 at http://www.nmmu.ac.za/sams-ams2011/ssprop.htm

l) The
annual meeting of the Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics,
Science & Technology Education (SAARMSTE), 16-19 January 2012, University
of Malawi. Theme: "Mathematics, Science & Technology Education : A key
to sustainable development". Go to: 1st
Announcement

m) The
didactics of mathematics: approaches and issues. International colloquium in
honour of Michele Artigue (Professor Universit Paris Diderot, ex-president of
ICMI), Paris 31 May – 2 June 2012. First Announcement with a description
of Scientific Activities of Plenary Lectures, Panels, Workshops, Poster Session
is available in French, English and Spanish at http://www.lar.univ-paris-diderot.fr/colloque/artigue

n) 12th
International Congress on Mathematics Education, ICME-12, July 8-15, 2012,
Seoul, Korea. The 2nd Announcement has been uploaded on the ICME-12 website (http://www.icme12.org ). Calls for papers for
different topic groups have also been posted.

6.
**QUOTES &** **POINTS TO PONDER**

"Moreover,
there is a growing consensus that human minds are fundamentally not very good
at mathematics, and must be trained ... Given this fact, the computer can be
seen as a perfect complement to humans - we can intuit but not reliably
calculate or manipulate; computers are not yet very good at intuition, but are
great at calculations and manipulations." – Dave Baily in
e-mail discussion with experimental mathematician Jonathan Borwein (during
2010)

"The art is
not in the 'truth' but in the explanation, the argument. It is the argument
itself which gives the truth its context, and determines what is really being
said and meant. Mathematics is the *art of explanation*. If you deny students the opportunity
to engage in this activity— to pose their own problems, make their own
conjectures and discoveries, to be wrong, to be creatively frustrated, to have
an inspiration, and to cobble together their own explanations and proofs —
you deny them mathematics itself. " - Paul Lockhart in **A Mathematician's Lament**

"Often
the key to answering a mathematical riddle is not to focus on fine details, but
to look at broad details. Less can mean more. When it works, this trick is
spectacular ..." - Ian Stewart in **Taming the Infinite**, Quercus Publishing, 2008, p. 236.

* *

7.
**HUMOUR IN MATH & SCIENCE**

*Martin's
Law of Committees: *"A committee is a group of people who, individually, can do
nothing, but collectively can meet and decide that nothing can be done."

"Photons
have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic." - Woody Allen

A
wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton
of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6." A short time later the husband
comes back with 6 cartons of milk. The wife asks him, "Why the hell did
you buy 6 cartons of milk?" He replied, "They had eggs."

8.
**PROBLEM PUZZLER**

Solve
the problem at: http://math.kennesaw.edu/~mdevilli/paul-yiu-theorem.html

(Use
a free, Java enabled web browser like Firefox or Safari or download &
install Java for Internet Explorer).

9.
**FEEDBACK**

** **

I'm
always grateful for any feedback I receive. Humberto Bortolossi from Brazil kindly
wrote to point out that

the
video clip mentioned in
the previous e-newsletter "Fibonacci Numbers - The Fingerprint of
God" at www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9MwNm0gXd8&feature=player_embedded
has some popular
misconceptions.

The
following article by George Markowsky. "Misconceptions About The Golden Ratio".
College Mathematics Journal, vol. 23, n. 1, pp. 2-19, 1992 at http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~markov/GoldenRatio.pdf
discusses this and other misconceptions.

Humberto
has also implemented a Java Applet (in Portuguese) where it's possible to
experiment and to see that the shape of the nautilus shell is actually not well
described by a golden spiral as often popularly claimed: http://www.uff.br/cdme/rza/rza-html/rza-spirals-br.html

Geometrically
yours

Michael

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"*With
the aid of dynamic geometry, my ability to discover new conjectures exceeds the
available time to prove them and sometimes even my mathematical background and
ability*."

----

Prof
Michael de Villiers

(Dynamic
Math Learning)

8
Cameron Rd

3615
SARNIA (Pinetown)

South
Africa

Tel:
027-(0)31-7083709 (h)

Fax:
0866726536 (w): Cell: 0836561396

Skype:
michaeldevilliersksu

Homepage:
http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/profmd/homepage.html

Dynamic
Geometry Sketches: http://math.kennesaw.edu/~mdevilli/JavaGSPLinks.htm

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Official
SA Supplier of Key Curriculum Press at http://www.keypress.com

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Visit
the SA Mathematics Olympiad at http://www.samf.ac.za/Default2.aspx