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Math Blogging Retrospectus 2013

Math Blogging Retrospectus 2013

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Published by gkrall
A compendium of some of the math blog posts that inspired folks in 2013
A compendium of some of the math blog posts that inspired folks in 2013

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Published by: gkrall on Dec 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Patrick 11/21

I am huge fan of Desmos, the free online graphing calculator. I use it almost every day in my
classroom: to sketch simple graphs, demonstrate mathematical relationships, and dynamically explore
mathematical situations. And like most worthy instructional technologies, it’s really alearning
technology: it’s easily accessible to students as well as teachers..

As far as technology goes, Desmos works very well. But some of my favorite mathematical questions
arise when technology does something we don’t expect.

For example, here’s the graph of

. This graph has a hole (a removable discontinuity) at

the point (-2,-1), which I have colored blue.

But look what happens when you zoom in around the hole:

At a very small scale, some very curious behavior emerges!

Now, it’s not the function here that’s behaving strangely: its behavior is well-understood. It’s
the mathematical technology that is behaving strangely, as it tries to represent the function.

Lots of interesting questions emerge from such anomalies, and these are great questions for students to
explore. In doing so, they’ll not only learn some mathematics and some computer science, but they’ll
also develop a healthier relationship with technology, by learning to understand how it does what it
does, and perhaps more importantly, what it doesn’t do.

You can find more of my work with Desmos here.

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