# Introducing Logs…

A reminder of the excellent collection of TED-Ed vidoes, note the growing Mathematics Collection.

I like this emphasis in the video; I suppose because it fits in with my own way of teaching logs!

# Handwriting recognition, LaTex and more!

A consistently popular post on this blog is that on online whiteboards. If I want to communicate mathematics online to answer a student query for example I find it quicker to use a graphics tablet and an online whiteboard.

I do keep an eye on various LaTex generators, one that has come to my attention is Web Equation; what I like about this is that handwriting is turned into LaTex (only one line at a time). The handwriting recognition is impressive and I found it easy using my graphics tablet to enter expressions accurately; see the quadratic formula below for example.

So you scribble expression an expression and it get turns into LaTex for you – it works:

$x^{2}+y^{2}=25$

$\dfrac {-b\pm \sqrt {b^{2}-4ac}} {2a}$

But I must confess I was just as excited by the option to ‘Compute with WolframAlpha’!

This is something I want to try on the IWB when I get back to school!
Update – tried this on the IWB in school today (Wednesday August 21st) – it works brilliantly!

On the subject of WolframAlpha, I have added a new slideshow on Differential Equations aimed at older students to the WolframAlpha Examples page.

..and finally if you wish to be distracted by some more fun applications there are some other great demonstrations from VisionObjects.

Try Web Shape for example and turn your drawings into vectorized objects.

# NASA Mathematics Resources

With Curiosity Rover very much in the news this week, it seems a good time to highlight the educational resources available from NASA. Space Math @ NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in todays scientific discoveries. The site includes Mathematics in the news – a look at the Mathematics involved in NASA press releases together with resources.

Note the Problem Archives which contain an extensive collection of problems. Several booklets are also available, see for example Exploring Space MathThe booklet includes (page 4) a table showing the topics covered by each activity. Why not use some solar wind magnetism data when teaching directed numbers or use solar flares when looking at equations and substitution?

You can also search for education materials by subject and by age, selecting the subject title Mathematics will allow you to refine your search.

# Dynamic Maths Worksheets

David Watkins has provided an extensive, easily searchable collection of Excel Mathematics worksheets on dynamicmaths.co.uk. As you can see from the above image (his Algebra-01 sheet on simplifying linear expressions), these worksheets can be customised to suit a particular class. As well as a class activity, these could make excellent starters or plenaries, I think they would also be useful for student self-study / revision.

For another excellent collection of spreadsheets investigate the resources on Mike Hadden’s MathsFiles site.