Friday, May 16, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending May 16th, 2014

I am a big fan of collecting data. I also like when the data is dirty and imperfect. This activity from Slam Dunk Math has all of that an more. Here is the Reader's Digest version. Get a box and some playing cards. Have each person throw one card at time into the box from a fixed distance for 30 s (or so). Repeat and get an average rate of cards in the box per second for each student. Then compare your's (hopefully its better) to the students and have a conversation about who would win, giving head starts etc. There is a lot of stuff here: rates, averages, direct & partial variation, intersection of lines. Perfect for any grade 9 class. Thanks to @MaryBourassa for pointing this one out to me.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P, MFM2P
http://slamdunkmath.blogspot.ca/2014/05/card-tossing.html

The confusion between correlation and causation is actually a big issue. So often the two are use synonymously. What better way to help distinguish the two then by showing how easy it is to get two related things to correlate. Enter Spurious Correlations. A blog that shows a new questionable correlation each day. So far I think this might be my favourite "The age of Miss America correlates with the number of murders by steam, hot vapours and hot objects" (correlation = 0.87). Thanks to Mike Lieff for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U, MAP4C
http://www.tylervigen.com/

So this article was in our local paper about the number of Sex Offenders that are residing in the area. I think its a perfect example of scare tactics because without any information on the population sizes and the average rate of residence for sex offenders its hard to tell if these numbers are high or low. So I did a quick study of the populations of the communities listed and came up with these results (comparing to Windsor). I also included the proportional rate of SOs for each town if their population was scaled up to the size of Windsor
City/Town      Population    #SOs   #SOs if the same size of Windsor
Windsor          216000          176     176
LaSalle              29000              2       15
Amherstburg     22000              5       50
Kingsville          21000            12     120
Essex                 19600              4       44
Leamington       50000            20       86
Lakeshore          35000            20     123
Tilbury                 5000            37   1598
Chatham          108000             70     140
So I think this could be a good lesson in proportional reasoning (obviously if you don't give them the last column)
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P
http://windsor.ctvnews.ca/report-details-how-many-sex-offenders-lived-in-windsor-essex-chatham-kent-1.1823627

Some more data here about what sports people are playing. Maybe I like this one because triathlon is almost number one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U
http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/more-people-are-running-fewer-are-playing-bar-sports/

Another proportional reasoning type link relating to data. One of the issues with the, so called, debate on climate change is that often when there is a public debate, there is usually one person on each side of the fence. This gives an impression that there is a 50/50 split between the two groups. When, in fact, there is about 97% of the scientific community that believe its happening. So John Oliver tried to remedy that on his new show. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one. Keep in mind there is language in this so you may want to show this from about 2 minutes in.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I really like this display of the popularity of various majors over the years. And if you go to the site, it's interactive. Thanks to Mark Esping for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U