Math Projects
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    Too often, courses tend to focus on single forms of delivery, lecture for instance. Courses that utilize Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Model will allow educators to gain a more accurate picture of student ability. The following activities can be used to teach and evaluate the whole student, possibly one project per semester:
    Each project will follow a strict procedure. Read the phases of the project and how the grades will be determined.


MacNelly Comic: Visit http://www.macnelly.com/

Summary:
    This project must contain a comic strip that demonstrates or explains a mathematical technique or concept.
Requirements:
The comic strip must contain...
  • eight panels minimum [the MacNelly cartoon above contains only three panels],
  • clearly drawn characters,
  • an explanation of a mathematical technique, concept, or rule,
  • element(s) of humor, irony, drama, ...
Difficulty Rating:
Between 4 and 5 points
Examples:




Summary:
    This project is appropriate for students who enjoy showing people how to do new things and/or creating models. This may involve describing how certain tiles completely cover the plane [tessellations], how paper can be folded to make interesting shapes [origami], or some other physical demonstration that involves a mathematical principle.
Requirements:
The demonstration must contain...
  • a physical model, prop, object, or product,
  • a detailed demonstration that explains a process involving some mathematical principle, property or concept,
  • between 10 and 15 minutes of demonstration time
Difficulty Rating:
3 to 5 points
Examples:
None at This Time



Report Cover: Al-Khwarizmi
Summary:
    This project asks the student to detail the life of a mathematician. It is appropriate for those students who enjoy doing independent research using the Internet and a library.
Requirements:
The report must contain...
  • a final version that is typed,
  • a final version that is saved to disk,
  • picture of the mathematician [or likeness thereof],
  • the following sections in the following order:
    1. Cover Page [see graphic image above]
    2. Table of Contents
    3. Life History [date of birth/death, place of residence, anecdotal stories, ...]
    4. Mathematical Discoveries
    5. Contributions to Society, Technology, or Field of Mathematics [how the discoveries benefit humankind]
    6. Bibliography
  • at least four (4) sources, two Internet and two hardcopy within the bibliography section, or
  • a 5 to 10 minutes oral report that is accompanied with a poster board or visual aid in the case that an oral report is preferred instead of a written report.
Difficulty Rating:
3 to 5 points
Examples:
None at This Time
Special Note:
    Plagiarism, claiming someone else's work is your own, is a serious academic offense. Plagiarized work will gain a student zero points on the project and a referral to the Dean's Office.

    Here is a partial list of mathematicians:

  • Al-Khwarizmi
  • Archimedes
  • Appollonius
  • Aryabhata
  • Bernouilli
  • Boole
  • Cantor
  • Cayley
  • Ceva
  • Cauchy
  • Descartes
  • Eratosthenes
  • Euclid
  • Euler
  • Fermat
  • Fourier
  • Galois
  • Gauss
  • Gödel
  • Hamilton
  • Hariot
  • Hilbert
  • Hypatia
  • Jacobi
  • Karadimos
  • Kepler
  • Khayyam
  • Klein
  • LaGrange
  • Legendre
  • Leibnitz
  • Lobechevsky
  • Lovelace
  • Menelaus
  • Mersenne
  • Neumann
  • Newton
  • Noether
  • Pascal
  • Poincare
  • Ptolemy
  • Pythagoras
  • Riemann
  • Russel
  • Turing
  • Van Ceulen
  • Weierstrass



Criss-Cross Puzzle

Summary:
    This project is appropriate for those who enjoy creating criss-cross puzzles.
Requirements:
The puzzle must contain...
  • the criss-cross variety as seen above,
  • a final copy that fits on a typical sheet of paper,
  • a list of at least twenty-five (25) clue and word pairs,
  • clues that are understandable,
  • proper grammar,
  • an answer key to be given to the teacher only.
Difficulty Rating:
3 to 5 points
Examples:
Special Note:
    Puzzle-creation assistance can be found at Puzzlemaker ["Criss-Cross"], About: Puzzle Software, and Google Directory: Puzzle Creation.




Singer

Summary:
    This project is appropriate for those who enjoy using their singing talents to express a mathematical principle and/or concept.
Requirements:
The singing project must contain...
  • one page of lyrics that explain or describe a mathematical principle and/or concept,
  • a 3 to 5 minute presentation either live or recorded (to be verified by teacher),
  • a parody of an existing song or an original work,
  • an emotional delivery [dramatic, humorous, ...]
Difficulty Rating:
4 or 5 points
Examples:




Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Coocoos Nest (1975)

Summary:
    This project is appropriate for those who enjoy being creative in front of an audience.
Requirements:
The role-playing project must contain...
  • a four page typed script that explains or describes a mathematical principle and/or concept,
  • a 5 to 10 minute presentation either live or taped,
  • a parody of an existing theatrical performance or an original work,
  • a professional delivery [dramatic, humorous, informative, ...]
Difficulty Rating:
4 or 5 points
Examples:
None at This Time
Special Note:
    This project can be handled by a team. The team may choose to supplement this presentation with props and music to receive additional points toward creativity.




    All students will follow the seven phases below for their projects:
  1. Decide on a project type.
  2. Develop an initial plan.
  3. Have the plan approved by the teacher.
  4. Create the first draft of the plan.
  5. Have the first draft approved by the teacher.
  6. Create the final draft.
  7. The final draft will then be evaluated.



    Projects will be worth a maximum of 50 points! Each project will be rated on its own merits based on the requirements detailed above. The grade will ultimately be determined by the teacher according to the following chart.

FactorWeak ---- Strong
Creativity0   1   2   3   4   5
Difficulty Rating0   1   2   3   4   5
Math Content0   1   2   3   4   5
Neatness0   1   2   3   4   5
Presentation0   1   2   3   4   5

Once the factors are determined the sum will be multiplied by two to determine the points for the project.

    Creativity is a measure of originality. The difficulty rating is based on the type of project that is chosen. Math content is a value determined by the amount of subject matter that is within the project. Neatness is a number that represents organization and cleanliness. Presentation is determined by the report that is given in front of the class.

    For example, let's say Peter Pan sings a song for his project: writes instead of types the lyrics, which contain creative versus that explains how to vaguely solve an equation, and then sings the song flawlessly in front of the class. He could earn a 4 for creativity, a 5 for difficulty, a 3 for math content, a 3 for neatness and a 5 for presentation. Peter would earn 2(4 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 5) = 40 points. 40/50 points is 80%.

    On the other hand, George Grimly creates a well-worded puzzle without presenting it to the class but has the printed copy enlarged at a professional studio. George would earn a 3 for creativity, a 3 for difficulty, a 3 for math content, a 5 for neatness but a 2 for presentation. George would earn 2(4 + 3 + 3 + 5 + 2) = 34 points. 34/50 points is a 68%.