In this course, students will explore three underlying themes: math can be used to model real life; mathematical structures underlie much in life; and the study of mathematics meets many human emotional needs. Planned activities will include the M&M Death and Immigration Problem, Conway’s game of Life, the Fold and Cut Theorem, Fermi problems, and the Pigeonhole Principle. This course is inspired by and Eric Dermaine’s work on recreational mathematics and especially by Francis Su’s work on mathematics for human flourishing. Underlying mathematical concepts and skills include number sense, pattern-seeking, the ability to generalize, prediction, geometry, estimation, algebraic thinking, proof, algorithms, iteration, and self-replication.
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