assignment 2-6, The art of problem solving

July 25, 2010

Below you will find two threads that I found interesting on the Art of Problem Solving website. I really liked the way this site uses threads to foster discussions about math problems and the thinking that goes into solving them.

Probability marathon
This thread is being used to share simple probability problems and their solutions. I don’t know about anybody else but probability has always been one of those topics that just sticks in my craw. I always feel like I have a good understanding of the basics and I have no trouble teaching the topic, it is just that some of the problems just seem too ambiguous. As though there are 5 different way of interpreting the question which would affect how you go about trying to solve it. This thread shows me that I am not alone in my occasional confusion by this topic, so I have that going for me, but it is also a great place to throw out a problem and get some feedback on the different ways people would go about solving it.

Percent problem
Another example of problem posing and solving is shown in this thread where a problem is posted and then an answer is suplied. The answer then gets reworked by another poster and clarified yet again by another.

In all, this forum is a great place to post problems that either are giving you trouble or have multiple solutions. Using the world as a resource is a great way to help advance our own mathematical thinking and this forum not only allows that to happen it strongly encourages the collaboration that is so desperately needed when discussing mathematics.


One comment

  1. Peter,

    These sites are very interesting forums. I like the ongoing investigation, and the varying level of sophistication. It is not brainiac math whizs showing off their recondite vocabulary and symbology. Although, there was one person with a rather opaque rune as their signature! 🙂

    I would like to use this sort of ongoing online community forum as part of my lesson plan. I think it would provide a great connection for kids to find each other, and to build relationships via social networking. That is an area that I am learning to embrace.

    Also, I think bringing the solutiosn they found it the community back to class and posting them in a dedicated place would also provide great visibility and a low tech connection to a high tech environment.

    Nice find!

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