Video Games—Helping Students Develop Their Mathematical Skills

Matthew C. Winner, a teacher and co-author of the book Teach Math with the Wii,” shared that “in grade school we’re always trying to relate math to the real world. Some kids have been good at video games their whole lives and never realized they were doing math the whole time.” To meet the goals of K-12, schools are already adopting game-based teaching strategies to better engage students and teach Math effectively. With gaming tools like the Nintendo Wii and even smart devices, it’s now easier for them to relate mathematical concepts with real things.

Now, it’s really common to see students glued to handheld gaming devices or console controllers inside the classroom. If you check out the specs of the recently-released iPhone 5C on http://www.o2.co.uk, you’ll see that it was built for gaming. In fact, Bill Gates, billionaire-philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, revealed in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “imagine if kids poured their time and passion into a video game that taught them math concepts while they barely noticed, because it was so enjoyable.” Today’s technology is actually helping math-phobic students overcome their fear of math and improve their skills. Continue reading

Dodgem Cars: A Pretty Interesting Abstract Game

It’s a rainy holiday morning where I am and while browsing at a math forum, I came across with a pretty clever game called Dodgem. The game is really simple, but it has some interesting properties. After a couple internet search, I found out that the game was credited to Colin Vout and described the book in Winning Ways by Berlekamp, Conway and Guy. The book according to a discussion thread is the manual of the game and contains mathematical analysis about it.  Here is how the game works.

Two players are seated crosswise and play on a 3 x 3 grid.  Each player has two cars. The objective of each player is to move all the cars off the far end of the board while blocking the opponent’s cars.  The cars may only be moved forward and sideward (in respect to the player) and not backward. The cars may also not be moved to occupied grids. They may leave the board with only a forward move. The winner is the player who first has no legal move on his turn because either all his cars are off the board or blocked by the opponent’s cars. Continue reading

Math Trick 3: The Answer is Always 1089

This is the third part of the Math and Multimedia Math Trick Series.  The first two tricks are multiplying by 11 and squaring numbers ending in 5.

As I have promised, I will teach you more math tricks that will impress your friends. The most exciting part, however, is not actually the trick but why the trick works. In this post, we are going to learn math trick which we will call magic 1089, a trick I learned at BasicMathematics.com.

The 1089 Math Trick

Step 1: Think of a 3-digit number where its digits are decreasing.

Step 2: Reverse the order of the digits.

Step 3: Subtract the number in step 2 from the number in step 1.

Step 4: Reverse the order of the difference in step 3.

Step 5: Add the numbers in step 3 and step 4.

The result is 1089.  Continue reading

Math Puzzle: Where is the Missing Area?

The square below is made up of two triangles and two trapezoids. The dimensions of the square is 13 by 13, which means that the area is 169 square units.

missing-area-1

The same polygons above are used to create the rectangle below. The dimensions of the rectangle is 8 by 21, which means that the area is 168. Continue reading

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