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Marvelous Math Library: Fun-tastic Math Resources for Your Family

We have devoted more time to books rather than online resources in the past few weeks, but given the wealth of information in the virtual world, we would be remiss not to take advantage of it.

Consider yourself forewarned – some of these are so fun that you are likely to completely lose track of time! May not be a bad thing if you are stuck at home? 😊

The resources that we are sharing this week are geared toward middle and high school students, but everyone in the family should find something that piques their curiosity!

As before, if you spy an eye symbol 👀 next to an item, it means that this particular resource is a visual feast!

Issue 4:

  • Curious Websites — Plus Interactive Activities and More
  • Books, Part I — Recreational Mathematics for All Ages
  • Books, Part II — Satisfy Your Inner Chef


Curious Websites — Plus Interactive Activities and More

NOVA | Hunting the Hidden Dimension. A wondrous exploration of fractal geometry, and an interview with Benoit Mandelbrot, the mathematician who pioneered fractal geometry. Follow the viewing with fun interactive activities, such as an immersive experience of designing your own fractal! 👀 

Math with Bad Drawings – Lover of math. Bad at drawing. We could wax rhapsodic about this wonderful rabbit hole of a website. Here is one post we especially love, and we are not using the term lightly… 39 Ways to Love Math. Be sure to check out the author’s two books in print (Math with Bad Drawings and Change is the Only Constant) and dive into the links section. You will not be disappointed… although family members who are waiting on you to sit down to dinner with them might be! 😊 

However, Mathematics. Medium has exploded online recently with a vast amount of information on all sorts of topics. However, Mathematics is a blog within the site, with several bite-sized pieces to get you to delve deeper into the wonderful world of math. There are resources for all ages – it all depends on how much time you are willing to spend chasing the topics of interest. One post that popped up recently is an especially beautiful one to share with your children, even though the winter season has passed. The Fascinating Mathematical Beauty of Snowflakes 👀 is well worth a look. Enjoy!

Books, Part I — Recreational Mathematics for All Ages

What Is the Name of This Book?, The Lady or the Tiger?, and Alice in Puzzle-Land by Raymond Smullyan. Since we have mentioned rabbit holes… what better partner to take you there than the late, great Raymond Smullyan? His name is legend to recreational math lovers, and we think that these three volumes would offer a perfect introduction to his – dare we call it that – work! Those of you about to discover his puzzles for the first time – we envy you in the best possible way. 😊

The Puzzle Universe by Ivan Moscovich. This coffee table book is visually arresting and therefore completely accessible to all age groups, elementary through adult. What sets this volume apart is that the puzzles are placed in their historical context, satisfying the most demanding problem-solver as well as someone who is drawn to the beauty and history of mathematics.

Books, Part II — Satisfy Your Inner Chef

How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng. A mathematical and culinary feast by a creative mathematician and a passionate cook, this book is "whimsical…[yet] rigorous and insightful." (New York Times) From Amazon: What is math? How exactly does it work? And what do three siblings trying to share a cake have to do with it? ...[How to Bake Pi is] an accessible introduction to the logic and beauty of mathematics, powered, unexpectedly, by insights from the kitchen. ... At the heart of it all is Cheng's work on category theory, a cutting-edge "mathematics of mathematics."

Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. In these quarantine times, many of us have embraced home cooking and baking as a way to provide warmth and sustenance to our families and comfort to ourselves. This lovely book is a perfect way to get your children in on the action. They will never look at the mixture and ratio problems the same way again.The real world connections will stay with them long after we have emerged on the other side.

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