In my first post on this blog (not so many months ago) I was wondering what will be our experience as teachers in helping the students developing their explorations. It is still early days, of course, and I am still waiting for some of my students to produce their “final” versions. Looking back however I believe altogether the experience was a challenging but exciting and enriching one.
Here is an example. My student Benedetto chose a topic related to the mathematics of juggling. This led me to do a simple web search and through one resource – an article from the Scientific American – I discovered an excellent site of the Simons Foundation. So far I have seen only few resources from there but was particularly impressed by the section Mathematical Impressions. Here is an example from it giving a remarkably simple and fascinating introduction to differential geometry. Most of the videos in this section are authored by George Hart who also has an interesting channel on YouTube with plenty of useful resources, especially for students interested in art. Here is his video on the opening of the Museum of Mathematics in New York on 12/12/12 (seems an interesting place to visit 😉 )
The site of the Simons Foundation has also a series of interviews with mathematicians and I feel lucky to have noted the one with Paul Sally. The Wikipedia article about him says that he was “seen by many as a legendary math professor at the University of Chicago” and I am quite confident that colleagues will find (or already know) his book Trimathlon a useful addition to their department library.
Paul Sally died exactly a month ago, on December 30, 2013, at the age of 80.
I find it quite fascinating and impressive that this long thread of links, small “discoveries” and treasure of resources was triggered (click by click 😮 ) by the exploration topic of Benedetto…