Friday Five for September 2

Dan Meyer here, filling in for Christopher Danielson who is currently representing awesome math at the Minnesota State Fair. (Search “math on a stick” for a look at all the fun math and fun people he’s pulled together.)

Here are five Friday notes about Desmos.

First, you likely already know that when you click “Anonymize” on any of our activities, your students’ names transform into the names of mathematicians. We’ve heard reports that some students become interested enough in their mathematical namesakes they start researching their lives. We’d like all of the students who use our activities to feel like they can see themselves as mathematicians, so we were grateful that Annie Perkins and Edmund Harris pulled together a list of mathematicians who aren’t white guys. We had already included several off their list and as of yesterday we added 39 more.

Second, Michael Fenton’s activity, Burning Daylight, takes me back to a time when my friend’s mom told me on a fall day, “We’re losing about a minute of daylight every day,” throwing me into an emotional tailspin as I imagined that a world of permanent darkness was imminent. Michael’s activity helps teachers understand that the daylight is coming back in a predictable sinusoidal pattern. I love the surprise on screen 9 where the sinusoid does something strange.

Third, enjoy Pizza Purchase, where students uncover the mathematical models that underlie one of their most cherished breakfast foods. (Oh, yes, please explain to me that pizza isn’t a breakfast food. I’m all ears. plugs ears La la la.)

Fourth and fifth, enjoy Nine Points, Three Lines (Christopher Kunkel) and Building Conic Sections (Dylan Kane), which each share one of our favorite features of your activities: there are different and interesting ways to be right and wrong.