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6 votes
Accepted

What age group is this puzzle appropriate for?

I'd say it depends highly on how it's presented. "What's the prettiest picture you can make with these nine tiles?" will probably go with any age. "Bad" solutions can then be ...
jonsen's user avatar
  • 76
5 votes
Accepted

Does solving crosswords help with recall of definitions?

I had a teacher friend who learned in college that word searches were worthless in most respects, but crosswords should have some intrinsic value because it requires you to read the definition and ...
Invisible Mangos Rock's user avatar
4 votes

How to convince parents that Mathematical puzzles/games help students in their academics too

Oh this is subtle and tough, in my opinion. It seems to me (and forgive the appalling over-generalizations I am about to present) ... In some vague but emotionally potent sense, math is seen as vital ...
James Tanton's user avatar
3 votes

Suggestion and advices

It seems that your main concern is cost. I therefore suggest you look for sources of free textbooks. If you're looking for books for undergraduate students, then you might want to take a look at the ...
JRN's user avatar
  • 10.9k
3 votes
Accepted

Suggestion and advices

I'd put my money on: Mathematics and the Imagination by Edward Kasner and James Newman The four-volume set The World of Mathematics that Newman edited. These books appeal to people in all subject ...
Sciolism Apparently's user avatar
3 votes

Easy and good book on combinatorial problems

This book is unfortunately out of print, but it is still accessible: The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Puzzles by David Wells. A majority of the problems are of a discrete or combinatorial ...
L.P.'s user avatar
  • 131
2 votes

How to convince parents that Mathematical puzzles/games help students in their academics too

OP: "such mathematical puzzles will enhance academic performance" Such puzzles will. But to my mind, what is more important is fostering an aesthetic sense, an appreciation of the beauty of ...
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
2 votes

How to convince parents that Mathematical puzzles/games help students in their academics too

A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. Children (and adults!) are not silicon robotic philosophical drill machines. We are organic, social animals. Engaging our sense of play helps us ...
guest's user avatar
  • 325
2 votes

How to convince parents that Mathematical puzzles/games help students in their academics too

Well, at first, it is very useful for a parent to be transparent as far as the goals of your teaching methods are concerned. You should not just teach something because it once has worked for someone -...
Vassilis Markos's user avatar
2 votes

Tricks for computing things in your head

Multiplying whole numbers times $25$ is counting quarters. Many American students find this easy. Getting a better that whole number approximation of square roots is possible using $$\left( a+\frac{...
Jim H's user avatar
  • 351
2 votes

How to explain Monty Hall problem when they just don't get it

How about encapsulating the entirety of the explanation in a tree diagram, which is visual, accessible, and relevant to any Intro Probability classroom? We drew this today while going over the Monty ...
ryang's user avatar
  • 1,832
1 vote

Game project using linear algebra

When I was teaching linear algebra, I made 3 HTML/javascript games for students: Switches and lightbulbs This is pretty much what Adam described and the interface should be self-explanatory ...
fedja's user avatar
  • 3,939
1 vote

Game project using linear algebra

This one is similar, but maybe slightly more general: light switch subsets. One feature of these problems is that a solution can be found just using row reduction, however, one has to work over $Z/...
Adam Boocher's user avatar
1 vote

Game project using linear algebra

Since this is for engineering students, perhaps the realm of Markov Decision Processes would be of interest. The canonical game is gridworld. A standard source is the textbook Artificial ...
user52817's user avatar
  • 11k
1 vote

Suggestion and advices

Overall: I recommend two tracks: (1) books that are motivational and (2) books that are helpful. For all of them, I would emphasize books that are more common/popular as it will be more likely to ...
guest's user avatar
  • 1,828
1 vote

Does solving crosswords help with recall of definitions?

When geometry was suddenly added to my elementary school curriculum my students were overwhelmed with all of definitions that they had to learn at once. A group of 5th grade students voluntarily ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,017
1 vote

How to explain Monty Hall problem when they just don't get it

I usually explain this by simulating, and then defusing, the mis-understanding using a simple table. You can set up any of the three cases of the problem, as they are obviously all the same, I'll use [...
jackisquizzical's user avatar
1 vote

How to explain Monty Hall problem when they just don't get it

Judea Pearl & Dana Mackenzie, in their new book The Book of Why (p.190ff), explain the paradox in a way I hadn't seen before. Pearl imagines changing the rules to "Let's Fake a Deal," where "...
Joseph O'Rourke's user avatar
1 vote

Tricks for computing things in your head

It's not really mental math, but it is more useful that one might expect. And it encourages students to see factoring and grouping possibilities. Evaluate $P(x) = x^3-7x^2+6x-8$ at $x = 3$. $$P(3) = ...
Jim H's user avatar
  • 351
1 vote

Tricks for computing things in your head

To multiply two numbers from $11 - 19$, written in base ten as $1a$ and $1b$, we can use, $(10 + a)(10 + b) = 100 + (a + b)10 + ab$ It could be remembered as 'One add multiply'. For example, $ 12 ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 333
1 vote

Tricks for computing things in your head

Let me give you some insight how I calculate things by heart: First we start with the simple formula: $a^2-b^2=(a-b)*(a+b)$ This can be used for two things: perform a multiplication calculate a ...
Dominique's user avatar
  • 2,165

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