BetterQs Blog

At TMC 2015 I attended a fantastic session by Rachel Kernodle that encouraged us to improve our questioning in class. I took this goal to heart, in fact, it ended up being my “One TMC15 Thing” that I’d like to work on. #1TMCthing Improve my questioning in class, have students interpret each other’s answers before […]

Plots of the Exponential Function over the Complex Plane

I was inspired by this tumblr post, and this wikimedia page to make some pretty pictures of the exponential function over the complex plane. Go there to read in more detail how the images were created, including how the colors were created. Code is found here. Hi definition images are found here. Update: Here’s what […]

Tracking Venus and Earth over 8 years

I came about this tweet: If you track the relative positions of Earth and Venus over an 8 year period, this is the resulting pattern. — SciencePorn (@SciencePorn) May 16, 2015 It reminded me strongly of the waning moon and linear mod art projects that I’ve been playing with. For instance, here’s a screenshot […]

Linear Modulus Art

I saw this fantastic webpage a couple of months back. Tons of fun. I took that idea and made a gif for my weird art Tumblr, Recursive Processing.   Here’s the code and the live (and smoother) version, and here’s the more fun version that is interactive based on the mouse position (some interesting polar math is […]

The Mandelbrot Set Viewed through Precalculus

I’ve given this presentation in November 2014 at AMTNYS in Syracuse, and in April 2015 at NCTM in Boston. I’ll be giving the presentation in May 2015 at the NY Master Teacher Conference, and in July 2015 at Twitter Math Camp in Claremont CA.  Drive Why use the Mandelbrot fractal to get the students to […]

Using the arctan Power Series to Calculate Pi

(Note: this post is an extension on the calculating pi with python post from a couple of years back. Also here’s another way to inefficiently calculate pi with Buffon’s Needles.) We’re currently working with Power series and Taylor series in Calculus. One particularity pretty derivation is going from the series for to the series for […]

Kaprekar’s constant

A student talked about Kaprekar’s constant (6174) during their my favorite presentation. Really cool. Steps (from wikipedia): Take any four-digit number, using at least two different digits. (Leading zeros are allowed.) Arrange the digits in descending and then in ascending order to get two four-digit numbers, adding leading zeros if necessary. Subtract the smaller number […]