Reorganizing and Future Plans

I thought it is time for me to talk about a couple of organization things that are under development at the moment. This post will be mostly related to the Facebook pages I have at the moment and what will happen with the other social media platforms. Keep reading if you want to know more ^_^

Firstly I have to say thank you for your help and support for my page Life Through a Mathematician’s Eyes (@lthmath), which has more than 16k likes and very many views daily. I will not change much on this page, but I will try and put more interesting puzzles and facts, not just jokes, comics or quotes. So be prepared for a little more history, mathematicians and general information about different topics.

Recently I have started another Facebook page Teaching Mathematics (@lthmateach). With this page I want to share more teaching related articles and ideas. It will be not just mathematics, but also general teaching tips and my journey as a teacher will be better recorded there. I will share all the websites, books, articles, magazines I will use in my teaching career. Also, from time to time I will talk about my own ideas and lesson plans. Therefore, every time I will find something worth mentioning I will.

Another page I have started recently with a friend is PsychoMath (@psycholthmath). I have not talked about this at all so far because I was not sure at first how to handle it. The page is an abomination born out of too much enthusiasm in two undergraduates of two different domains: Psychology and Mathematics. It took me a while to decide what exactly to post on this page so that it wasn’t interfering with my other 2 pages. After some brainstorms, we decided I should post about applications of mathematics in other sciences. Therefore, for this page you will see some cool Psychology and Applied Mathematics great content.

So much for Facebook, lets get to other platforms. I have started posting more on my Instagram recently: Life Through Math’s Eyes (@lthmath). This combines some day to day photos and also some great maths related images I find online. So, if you want to find out more about myself and see what I am up to on a more day to day matter, you could take a look.

Next on the photo/images social media, I have Pinterest: LThMath. This is mostly a place where I gather resources for the other platforms and I enjoy the way I can put them into categories and I always look back at what I have there. Recently I have added a Teaching category and a Math Exercises one, so take a look if you want to be up to date to my findings.

Next social media platform is one of my favorite. I have used Tumblr for quite a while and I think it is great. My page there, Life Through a Mathematician’s Eyes (@lthmath), has more than 11k followers and I totally love it. From time to time I will do some series posts such as my old Women Mathematician (in March) or Life as a Math Student (in June) or Mathematicians of October (where I have written about all the mathematicians born in October). I find them very entertaining and I will do more similar things in the future.

So far I have not been quite active on Twitter and I think this is one of those platforms which I find quite hard to use, but I will be trying my best. You can find me as LThMathematics (@lthmath) if you are a Twitter fan.

Also, I have tried to work more on my Google+ page: LThMathematics and it is quite some hard work there, too. I have to say that I enjoy their collection option and I have started 2 collections: Facts from the history of mathematics (which is my favorite so far) and           T-shirts. I am thinking about organizing more collection like this and hope you will like them.

This blog will go on as it has been for the last almost 3 years of activity and I will post as often as I can. I have to apologies for the lac of more hard maths content in the past months, but I am doing my best. Hopefully when I will get more used to my timetable things will get back to normal.

This was mostly organizational, so hopefully I did not bore you to much with this. I wanted to show you the bigger picture and to explain what I have been up to so far and a couple of things that are under development. If you have any questions or if there is something you want me to do extra let me know in the comment box bellow. Have a great day!

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First Week of School

School started on 15th August in Scotland and on that day I have also started my first year of Secondary Teacher. I think you can imagine how nervous I was on that day and how scared I was about everything. Now that the second week is starting tomorrow, I cannot say that I am better, but it is definitely not the same feeling. In this short post I wanted to talk a little about some maths activities/things I have done in my first week of school.

Firstly, for most of my classes I have done some sort of presentation lesson in which I asked them to tell me something funny about themselves and to explain what mathematics represents for them. I had some great answers for the second question and I will write a different blog post on these.

For most of the classes, especially for the younger pupils, I have showed them the video Donald in Mathmagic Land. It is a 27-minute Donald Duck educational movie released on June 26, 1959. I think that even though it is quite old, it is a great video and shows quite a lot of the applications of mathematics in our society. As Walt Disney explained:

The cartoon is a good medium to stimulate interest. We have recently explained mathematics in a film and in that way excited public interest in this very important subject.

For the senior classes I have obviously chosen a different type of video: Numb3rs. This is an American crime drama television series that ran on CBS from January 23, 2005, to March 12, 2010. The series follows FBI Special Agent Don Eppes and his brother Charlie Eppes, a college mathematics professor and prodigy who helps Don solve crimes for the FBI. The following YouTube playlist has quite a range of maths scenes from the series:

For the rest of the periods I have not done something extremely exciting, mostly revision questions and I have checked some jotters to see what they have covered before. Even though I have not done a lot of things, by the time I got to last 2 periods on Friday I almost lost my voice and my feet were hurting like hell. Funny thing is that on Friday evening when I got home I decided to take a nap, but I ended up sleeping 4 and a half hours and then another 10 hours of night sleep. You can imagine how tired I felt… ^_^

I will try and post similar posts as often as possible, but I am not 100% sure if I could do it weekly. Give me some time to get used with the new timetable and amount of work and I will get back to more maths. Thanks for understanding.

Have a great week.  You can find me on FacebookTumblrGoogle+Twitter  and Instagram. I will try to post there as often as possible.

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! ~LThMath 

Codex Silenda : the Book of Puzzles

You know I have been trying to keep you up to date to great Kickstarter projects which are related to mathematics. I think we should support these projects and more people should know about them.

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This time I have a great puzzle book to present. Codex Silenda: the Book of Puzzles is a five page puzzle book (I know there are not that many surprises yet! ^_^ ), but the great part is that these puzzles are crafted by laser and assembled by hand.

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Moreover, each page features an interesting puzzle which asks the “reader” to solve it before progressing to the next page. Another great thing is that on the back of the pages a story starts to unfold. The story is about an apprentice in Da Vinci’s Workshop who encounters the same puzzle. This idea came because:

the problem with puzzles today is they are either simple and cheap or hand crafted and supremely expensive. Yet once you’ve solved either type of puzzle, you know the solution and have no desire to ever play with the puzzle again. The Codex addresses this issue of replayability by offering five puzzles in one, an intriguing story that ties everything together and a hidden storage compartment.

The images look absolutely incredible and they make me extremely curios for the book (images are from their Kickstarter page):

Absolutely incredible, show it so love on Kickstarter if you like the idea.

Have a great weekend.  You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible.

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! ~LThMath 

Transform your holiday into a Maths – Camp

Recently I have posted about my holiday to Romania and what I have visited there. During that journey I have thought at different things that could have transformed it into a maths related one. I feel that every holiday could become a maths-camp if you can find the right questions and use your creativity and maths knowledge at the maximum. So the following post is directed more to parents, who I think could transform their children’s holidays in any way they want. So why not try a maths-camp for a start?

Here are a couple of tips and tricks and how I have applied them to my holiday:

1. Observe all the details of the environment. I have tried this while visiting the Knyaz Palace in Ceahlau. The ruins do not give much in general because, unfortunately, the area is underfunded, but there could be much maths concepts hidden there.

One of the activities could be approximating the perimeter of the ruins. All you have to do is measure as best as possible and then you do a sketch to better understand the shape of  the ruins. A lot of discussions could start from this: measuring, different shapes, calculating the perimeter, calculating the area of the ruins, the area of the interior garden and many more.

Another activity I have thought about is estimating the height of the tower(s). This is an activity which offers the opportunity to use trigonometry and the properties of triangles (similar triangles or right angle triangles depending on how complicated you want to make the task). You have an example in the image bellow:

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2. Find out about the history of the place. This better applies for when I have visited the town Sighisoara, which was on the most important economic centers in Europe in the 16th – 17th century. Here the discussion could touch topics like financial maths, managing money, proportion (direct, indirect proportion) and even statistics. The town has many museum related to the different guilds and handcraft branches that existed in there. Just choosing that one that is of interest to your child and discover its economic part and how people managed their money in that time. You could touch more on economy and its connections to mathematics.

Moreover, looking at the plan of construction, you could talk about 3D shapes, scale drawing (scale factor), proportion. You could even decompose the buildings into 3D shapes and then construct your own version of the town. Using this, the child could easily the connections between mathematics and architecture.

3. Study the geography and geology of the place. This works wonderful in the Praid Salt Mine. The mine has a museum, which gives a lot of information about the construction of the place and also its geology and geography. If you are afraid of the geology part, you can always refer to the economic part and do so more financial mathematics. But there is much beauty and applications in the geology and geography of the place.

It is quite interesting to discover that “in horizontal section the salt-diapir has an elliptic form, with diameters of 1.2 – 14 km  and in vertical section has a huge mushroom shape”(quote from the Praid Museum). Talking about different sections into 3D shapes could make some light into how the mine really looks like. Also, never say “no!” when you have to explain something about ellipses. Besides all this, “the material of the salt yard is the <halite> that crystallizes in a rectangular system, but sometimes it can have an octahedral shape”(quote from the Praid Museum). Therefore, I would say a little bit of studding the geometry of crystals (symmetry, different  2D and 3D shapes). Bellow are a couple of images of the halite crystal:

 I hope this post encourages you to find different ways to show your child the importance of mathematics in our life and its implications everywhere around us. You don’t have to use high maths concepts, or complicated ones, use something small, do a little research and let your child enjoy and develop its own ideas.

Let me know if you would like to see similar posts in the future. Hope you are all having fun this summer. Thank you for your help and support. Thank you for reading. You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible. Also my email address is: lthmathematics@gmail.com.

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! 

Traveling in Romania

I thought about sharing more about my holiday to Romania. This time I will talk about a couple of things I have visited during my stay there. As you can imagine the post will be full of images and I will do my best to tell you more about those places.

The first images are made random while driving through the mountains. There view is quite beautiful. For those of you that want to know more, the two lakes photographed are Lake Izvorul Muntelui and Lake Bezid. Both lakes have interesting stories so I totally recommend you read a little bit about them.

The first thing we have visited are the ruins of the Princes Palace or the Knyaz Palace. For better understanding of the concept, it is better to mention that Knyaz or knez is a historical Slavic title, used both as a royal and noble title, usually translated into English either as Prince or less commonly as Duke.  The history of these ruins starts around 1600 when the ruled at that time decided to build a small fortified church. The Cantacuzino nobles family, who enters in the possession of the church, shall extend the fortifications by adding cellars and tunnels under the mountain dedicated to the run away in case of attack.

The Palace has a lot of legends tied to it. One of the most interesting one talks about the end of the Cantacuzino family. The priests say that the tragic end of this family has been caused by a curse, put on them after they have sent away the monks from the church and made a palace for them.

Next is the Praid Salt Mine, which is one of the biggest salt mines in Europe and I have to say it is quite impressive. I have not put many photos from it bellow, but I totally recommend you read more about it (Praid Salt Mine – a must see objective in Transylvania).

I think some of you already know my passion for butterflies from an old post of mine, Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary (and after 2 years, I am still playing that game ^_^ ). Therefore, we had to go and see a Butterfly House and I was mesmerized by the place.

For this next one I wish I had more photos because it was a great place. For the first time in my life I visited a Straw Hat Museum (the only one in the country). The museum has displayed a whole room with different types of straw hats from all around the country. I had an idea about the process of making a straw hat, but at this experience improved my knowledge a lot. Also there you can see and try the country’s biggest straw hat (of course I tried it and it is quite hard to hold it – impossible without using your hands). The hats diagonal is 2 meter, and it weights 2, 65 kg. I advise you look for more images from this museum.

Next we visited and stayed for a couple of the days in Sovata ( a small town situated in the central part of Romania).  The most interesting aspect of this town is the Lake Bear. The geological events in 1875 gave birth to this lake, which is unique in Europe, its water being helio-thermal and salty, with well-known therapeutic effects. We also visited the region as a whole and did a little bit of hiking. The region has many things to offer to different types of tourists and it was great fun.

The last thing on this list is the well – known city: Sighisoara. The city has a long history which starts somewhere in the 12th century. At that time the territory was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and the king at that time invited German craftsmen and merchants to settle and defend the frontier of his realm. The city played an important strategic and commercial role at the edges of Central Europe for several centuries. The German artisans and craftsmen dominated the urban economy, as well as building the fortifications protecting it. It is estimated that during the 16th and 17th centuries Sighișoara had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches.

Hope you enjoyed this kind of long post about the things I have visited during my stay in Romania. Let me know how your holiday has been? Have a wonderful day and a great start of the weekend.

Thank you for your help and support. Thank you for reading. You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible. Also my email address is: lthmathematics@gmail.com.

Enjoying Life

Last year when I went to Romania I wrote a similar post about my experience and how I have spent my time home (Going Home – Romania). So, I thought it is but fair to write another one this year. First of all I have to say that it was not a proper 100% holiday due to all the wedding (A New Journey) related things we had to do, but it was great fun and very relaxing. It also meant less internet, which I have to say it was a blessing after all my tough schedule this year (My Normal Friday and I wanted to Give Up).

Being home means a lot of gardening and fresh delicious foods. Totally love the tasted of these foods:

You know how much I love any types of animals, especially if your parents and grandparents have gardens ^_^

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My grandma and my mother-in-law are big fans of flowers and I have to say that they have the most beautiful flower gardens I have seen:

As expected, the food is always special for me (especially the barbecue). This year we have discovered an interesting dish: soup served in bread, which is unexpectedly good.

Hope you enjoyed this inside into my time spent in Romania ^_^ Let me know if you have visited it, or if you are from Romania what is your favorite thing about it? Some time ago, I written a post about visiting Bucharest: What a Mathematician should visit in Bucharest? or check my magazine: MathTravel.

Thank you for your support.Hope you are all having fun this summer. Thank you for your help and support. Thank you for reading. You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible. Also my email address is: lthmathematics@gmail.com.

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! 

Geometry & Art

During my stay in Romania this summer, just before the wedding, I was nicely walking randomly on the streets of my home town when I discover some interesting drawings just outside an art exhibition. From far away it looked like some random colors on a piece of paper, but when I got closer I was mesmerized by the mathematics behind these drawings.

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The drawings were made by some pupils from a well known high-school in the city together with their teacher. The teacher had this idea to show the beauty of mathematics through this project. The project is called “The Magic behind a Dot”. So it looks like they studied a little bit of  geometry and proportion before doing these.

Looking at these images I can easily see representation of a lot of the circle properties, some spiral related things, triangles and general proportion knowledge. And all of these is just from a 2 minutes glance at one single drawing. I totally like how they look. What other geometric properties do you think are hidden in these images? Let me know in the comment box bellow. 

Enjoy the last month of summer and keep relaxing. Thank you for your help and support, you are the best and I appreciate everything that you do. Have a great day.  You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible. Also my email address is: lthmathematics@gmail.com

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! ~LThMath