Because apparently I have *waaaaayyyyy *too much time on my hands, one of my students introduced me to a new time sink: this list of Cool Math Sites. I had seen some of the sites on the list (which is organized by topic, and updated regularly) but there were quite a few I hadn’t heard of.

For example, you can get unique, rare, or common facts about whole numbers on Number Gossip: the number 21 is the smallest number of distinct integer-sided squares needed to tile a square, the number of spots on a standard die, and also a Fibonacci number. Number Gossip gives more detailed information about small numbers than large ones, but it’s still a great way to ~~waste some time~~ pick up some interesting tidbits to share at your next cocktail party. If you go to cocktail parties. Or, umm, talk about number facts at them.

Moving right along, as I think we should, one of Patty’s favorite sites was this list of Murphy’s Laws and Mathematics. It included:

**Every problem is harder than it looks and takes longer than you expected.**
**Notes you understood perfectly in class transform themselves into hieroglyphics at home.**
**The answers you need aren’t in the back of the book.**
**The answer to the problem you couldn’t work on the exam will become obvious after you hand in your paper.**

Their list is 17 items long, but I’m thinking it can still be added to. For example:

**That brilliant insight to the problem you’ve been working on for weeks will disappear the moment you find some paper to write it down. **
**The set of GREAT exam questions from a teacher perspective and the set of GREAT exam questions from a student perspective are nearly disjoint.**
**If you wait until the last minute to print/photocopy something, the printer/copier will most surely break down.**

And others…..?

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Tags: math sites, murphy's law, number facts

This entry was posted on February 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm and is filed under Humor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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