Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bard Math Circle at Kingston Library - more highlights

We had our first math circle of the year yesterday at the Kingston Library. This circle meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month, so:

Second Saturdays, 1-3pm at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston NY 12401
2011: September 10, October 8, November 12, December 17
2012: January 14, February 11, March 10, April 14, May 12

Here are some of the mathematical highlights:

Area Puzzles

The problem sheet this month had dissection problems. Goal: cut each shape into pieces and rearrange them into a square. How few pieces can you use?

Dragon Illusion

The hands-on math take-away was a dragon illusion. Here's a video that I made of the one I assembled:

As you can see, the dragon's head appears to follow you as you move from side-to-side. This illusion was designed by Jerry Andrus, and you can download your copy here: http://www.g4g-com.org/storage/Dragon-Illusion-GG2010.pdf. If you're interested in a mathematical adventure, find out who Jerry Andrus is, and what is "GG2010", which is short for Gathering for Gardner 2010!

The Game of 21-Nim

Jeannette taught us all how to play a game called 21-Nim. This is a game for two players, played with a pile of 21 counters. On your move you can remove 1, 2 or 3 counters, and whoever takes the last counter wins. After explaining the rules, Jeannette gave everyone a chance to play, and finished by analyzing strategies.

We'll be playing 21-Nim at several of our circles this month, so come out and play!