Source: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/complement-compliment/

# Tag: angles

# My Mathematical Magic Show: Part 3c

Last March, on Pi Day (March 14, 2015), I put together a mathematical magic show for the Pi Day festivities at our local library, compiling various tricks that I teach to our future secondary teachers. I was expecting an audience of junior-high and high school students but ended up with an audience of elementary school students (and their parents). Still, I thought that this might be of general interest, and so I’ll present these tricks as well as the explanations for these tricks in this series. From start to finish, this mathematical magic show took me about 50-55 minutes to complete. None of the tricks in this routine are original to me; I learned each of these tricks from somebody else.

In the last couple of posts, I discussed a trick for predicting the number of triangles that appear when a convex gon with points in the middle is tesselated. Though I probably wouldn’t do the following in a magic show (for the sake of time), this is a natural inquiry-based activity to do with pre-algebra students in a classroom setting (as opposed to an entertainment setting) to develop algebraic thinking. I’d begin by giving the students a sheet of paper like this:

Then I’ll ask them to start on the left box. I’ll tell them to draw a triangle in the box and place one point inside, and then subdivide into smaller triangles. Naturally, they all get 3 triangles.

Then I ask them to repeat if there are two points inside. Everyone will get 5 triangles.

Then I ask them to repeat until they can figure out a pattern. When they figure out the pattern, then they can make a prediction about what the rest of the chart will be.

Then I’ll ask them what the answer would be if there were 100 points inside of the triangle. This usually requires some thought. Eventually, the students will get the pattern for the number of triangles if the initial figure is a triangle.

Then I’ll repeat for a quadrilateral (with four sides instead of three). After some drawing and guessing, the students can usually guess the pattern .

Then I’ll repeat for a pentagon. After some drawing and guessing, the students can usually guess the pattern .

Then I’ll have them guess the pattern for the hexagon without drawing anything. They’ll usually predict the correct answer, .

What about if the outside figure has 100 sides? They’ll usually predict the correct answer, .

What if the outside figure has sides? By now, they should get the correct answer, .

This activity fosters algebraic thinking, developing intuition from simple cases to get a pretty complicated general expression. However, this activity is completely tractable since it only involves drawing a bunch of figures on a piece of paper.

# My Mathematical Magic Show: Part 3b

Last March, on Pi Day (March 14, 2015), I put together a mathematical magic show for the Pi Day festivities at our local library, compiling various tricks that I teach to our future secondary teachers. I was expecting an audience of junior-high and high school students but ended up with an audience of elementary school students (and their parents). Still, I thought that this might be of general interest, and so I’ll present these tricks as well as the explanations for these tricks in this series. From start to finish, this mathematical magic show took me about 50-55 minutes to complete. None of the tricks in this routine are original to me; I learned each of these tricks from somebody else.

This is a magic trick that my math teacher taught me when I was about 13 or 14. I’ve found that it’s a big hit when performed for grade-school children. Here’s the patter:

Magician: Tell me a number between 5 and 10.

Child: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: On a piece of paper, draw a shape with corners.

Child: (draws a figure; an example for is shown)

Important Note: For this trick to work, the original shape has to be convex… something shaped like an L or M won’t work. Also, I chose a maximum of 10 mostly for ease of drawing and counting (and, for later, calculating).

Magician: Tell me another number between 5 and 10.

Child: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: Now draw that many dots inside of your shape.

Child: (starts drawing dots inside the figure; an example for )While the child does this, the Magician calculates , writes the answer on a piece of paper, and turns the answer face down.

Magician: Now connect the dots with lines until you get all triangles. Just be sure that no two lines cross each other.

Child: (connects the dots until the shape is divided into triangles; an example is shown)

Magician: Now count the number of triangles.

Child: (counts the triangles)

Magician: Was your answer… (and turns the answer over)?

The reason this magic trick works so well is that it’s so counter-intuitive. No matter what convex gon is drawn, no matter where the points are located, and no matter how lines are drawn to create triangles, there will always be triangles. For the example above, , and there are indeed triangles in the figure.

This trick works by counting the measures of all the angles in two different ways.

**Method #1**: If there are triangles created, then the sum of the measures of the angles in each triangle is degrees. So the sum of the measures of all of the angles must be degrees.

**Method #2**: The sum of the measures of the angles around each interior point is degrees. Since there are interior points, the sum of these angles is degrees.

The measures of the remaining angles add up to the sum of the measures of the interior angles of a convex polygon with sides. So the sum of these measures is degrees.

These two different ways of adding the angles must be the same. In other words, it must be the case that

,

or

.

I’m often asked why it was important to choose a number between 5 and 10. The answer is, it’s not important. The trick will work for any numbers as long as there are at least three sides of the polygon. However, in a practical sense, it’s a good idea to make sure that the number of sides and the number of points aren’t too large so that the number of triangles can be counted reasonably quickly.

After explaining how the trick works, I’ll again ask a child to stand up and play the magician, repeating the trick that I just did, before I move on to the next trick.

# My Mathematical Magic Show: Part 3a

Last March, on Pi Day (March 14, 2015), I put together a mathematical magic show for the Pi Day festivities at our local library, compiling various tricks that I teach to our future secondary teachers. I was expecting an audience of junior-high and high school students but ended up with an audience of elementary school students (and their parents). Still, I thought that this might be of general interest, and so I’ll present these tricks as well as the explanations for these tricks in this series. From start to finish, this mathematical magic show took me about 50-55 minutes to complete. None of the tricks in this routine are original to me; I learned each of these tricks from somebody else.

For my second trick, I’ll show something that my math teacher taught me when I was about 13 or 14. Everyone in the audience has a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Here’s the patter:

Magician: Tell me a number between 5 and 10.

Child #1: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: On a piece of paper, draw a shape with corners. Don’t draw something really, really tiny… make sure it’s big enough to see well.

Audience: (draws a figure; an example for is shown)The Magician also draws this figure on the board.

Important Note: For this trick to work, the original shape has to be convex… something shaped like an L or M won’t work. Also, I chose a maximum of 10 mostly for ease of drawing and counting (and, for later, calculating).

Magician: Tell me another number between 5 and 10.

Child #2: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: Now draw that many dots inside of your shape.The Magician also draws dots inside the figure on the board, an example for is shown.

Audience: (starts drawing dots inside the figure)The Magician also calculates and says,“Now while you’re doing that, I’m going to write a secret number on the board,”discreetly writes the answer on the board, and then covers up the answer with a piece of paper and some adhesive tape.

Magician: Now connect the dots with lines until you get all triangles. Just be sure that no two lines cross each other. For example, your figure could look like this:

Audience:(quietly connects the dots until the shape is divided into triangles)

Magician: Now count the number of triangles.

Audience: (counts the triangles)

Magician: Was your answer… (removes the adhesive tape and displays the answer)?

The reason this magic trick works so well is that it’s so counter-intuitive. No matter what convex gon is drawn, no matter where the points are located, and no matter how lines are drawn to create triangles, there will always be triangles. For the example above, , and there are indeed triangles in the figure.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll explain why this trick works.

# Engaging students: Defining angles and measures of angles

In my capstone class for future secondary math teachers, I ask my students to come up with ideas for *engaging* their students with different topics in the secondary mathematics curriculum. In other words, the point of the assignment was not to devise a full-blown lesson plan on this topic. Instead, I asked my students to think about three different ways of getting their students interested in the topic in the first place.

I plan to share some of the best of these ideas on this blog (after asking my students’ permission, of course).

This student submission again comes from my former student Katie Pelzel. Her topic, from Geometry: defining angles and measures of angles.

C1).How has this topic appeared in pop culture?

Video games are a huge deal in pop culture today. Not only kids play them, teenagers and adults frequently play video games. Angles show up in video games whether we see them or not. They are there. For example, in the game MLB 2K10 they are given three cameras – pitcher, pitcher 2 and pitcher 3. The pitcher view is a higher- angle shot that gets more of the mound and base paths into the frame so that the pitcher and the strike zone is smaller than in the pitcher 3 view. The pitcher 3 is a lower angle which is zoomed in more. The view from pitcher 2 shows what is between the pitcher and pitcher 3. The steeper the positions or angles will help the game be easier to see. Most “gamers” would not think about how these actual angles are used in the mathematical world. Realistically these views are placed into angles so that the game can appear real to the “gamers” playing the game. Angles are used to help make any game look better. Similarly, angles are also used in movies and television to help improve the views that people see when watching them. They take special angles so that the view is better. They angle the camera to acute, obtuse and right angles so that the view is not just point blank range. Also, they measure out the angles so that they can make note of the correct angle that gives them the greatest view. They use the angles to emphasize on important views of the show to have a more dramatic effect.

C2). How has this topic appeared in high culture?

Angles are used in high culture quite regularly. The Greeks and Romans used angles to create beautiful architecture. For example, they measured out angles to make statues, buildings and coliseums. By creating these angles in their work, the Greeks and Romans brought about more character and life to the architecture. Learning how to use angles require a familiarity with basic math concepts and how to put them together when creating a building or bridge. Also, these angles can be used to help make buildings and bridges safer. In situations where there are natural disasters, angles can help keep the buildings and bridges from collapsing. Also, without the usage of angles architects and engineers would not be able to have the correct height of a ceiling or the correct angle of the road from a bridge. Angles are very important when it comes to building things. Angles are also used in art. Angles are used to give paintings/drawings the illusion of the portrait being 3-dimensional. Angles are drawn or created to make the pictures or objects appear 3-D. Artists have to drawn and measure out accurate angles in order to portray the ultimate 3-D art.

D2). How was the topic adopted by the mathematical community?

Angles were not invented but rather discovered. The term angle comes from the Latin word angulus, which means corner. Archimedes of Syracuse, a Greek mathematician, is credited with the discovery of angles. This is how the topic was adopted by the mathematical community. Euclid came next, he defined a “plane angle as the inclination to each other, in a plane, of two lines which meet each other, and do not like straight with respect to each other.” The first concept was used by Eudemus. He noted an angle as a deviation from a straight line. The second concept was used by Carpus of Antioch, he regarded an angle as the interval or space between intersecting lines. Finally, Euclid adopted the third concept, which is where we get the definitions of right, acute, and obtuse angles.

References

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Angle_(mathematics)

# Engaging students: Central and inscribed angles

In my capstone class for future secondary math teachers, I ask my students to come up with ideas for *engaging* their students with different topics in the secondary mathematics curriculum. In other words, the point of the assignment was not to devise a full-blown lesson plan on this topic. Instead, I asked my students to think about three different ways of getting their students interested in the topic in the first place.

I plan to share some of the best of these ideas on this blog (after asking my students’ permission, of course).

This student submission comes from my former student Theresa (Tress) Kringen. Her topic, from Geometry: central and inscribed angles.

**What interesting word problems using this topic can students do now?**

After defining the terms central angle and inscribed angle, students can use a central angles to draw a pie graph or pie chart. They can depict the data using a visual. Based in the percentage of any part of a whole, they will crate a fraction of the whole circle by dividing 360 degrees by that percentage to give the piece of the pie in which they needed to find.

Say a student is given the data below and asked to graph the data into a pie chart:

Students’ favorite colors:

Blue 10

Yellow 3

Red 7

Orange 3

Green 10

Purple 6

Pink 9

Other 2

Students would be required to give percentages based on the 50 students with the percentages listed as: Blue 20%, Yellow 6%, Red 14%, Orange 6%, Green 20%, Purple 12%, Pink 18%, other 4%. This would correspond to the percentage of the 360 degree central angle.

To tie in inscribe angles, I would have to students explain why a pie chart would not work with inscribed angles.

**How does this topic appear in high culture?**

In order to engage students I could help them understand inscribed angles by relating it to the camera angle in their video games. Describing an inscribed angle as a camera angle on their video game would help them understand it better. As they move throughout the game, their camera angle changes. Based on the camera’s location, you are able to see a certain portion of the screen. If there isn’t much of an angle, the range of view is small or zoomed in. This could be explained as the radius of the circle. The smaller the radius, the less view there is. Thus, the opposite is true. If the radius is large, the camera has a larger view of the object. If the camera has a larger angle of view, more is visible in the camera. I would then relate this to the arc length that the angle creates. I would explain that if the angle of the camera is small, the area of the arc length, or view of the camera would also be small. If the angle of the camera is larger, the arc length or view of the camera is much larger.

**How can technology be used to effectively engage students with this topic?**

Once students are given the application problem listed above, I could then engage them further by asking them to use word or excel to graph the information given into a document. They would be required to make a chart of the data with the listed percentages of each parameter along with the degree of the angle that the parameter requires to make the pie graph. I would require this since the technology would calculate this on its own without the student having to put in the effort. To make it fun, I would give the students a few extra minutes to make their pie graph their own by customizing it to reflect their personality and style.

To further engage them, I could also ask that each student create a questionnaire that asked each student what their favorite choice of any given set of choices were. They would be required to have at least 7 responses as to make a 7 piece pie chart, but they would be able to choose the topic, and find the information for their parameters on their own. Once they did this, they would be required to make an additional pie chart with their results to present to the class.

# Why do we teach students about radians?

Throughout grades K-10, students are slowly introduced to the concept of angles. They are told that there are degrees in a right angle, degrees in a straight angle, and a circle has degrees. They are introduced to and right triangles. Fans of snowboarding even know the multiples of degrees up to or even degrees.

Then, in Precalculus, we make students get comfortable with , , , , , and multiples thereof.

We tell students that radians and degrees are just two ways of measuring angles, just like inches and centimeters are two ways of measuring the length of a line segment.

Still, students are extremely comfortable with measuring angles in degrees. They can easily visualize an angle of , but to visualize an angle of radians, they inevitably need to convert to degrees first. In his book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Nobel-Prize laureate Richard P. Feynman described himself as a boy:

I was never any good in sports. I was always terrified if a tennis ball would come over the fence and land near me, because I never could get it over the fence – it usually went about a radian off of where it was supposed to go.

Naturally, students wonder why we make them get comfortable with measuring angles with radians.

The short answer, appropriate for Precalculus students: Certain formulas are a little easier to write with radians as opposed to degrees, which in turn make certain formulas in calculus a lot easier.

The longer answer, which Precalculus students would not appreciate, is that radian measure is needed to make the derivatives of and look palatable.

*Source: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CircularSector.html*

1. In Precalculus, the length of a circle arc with central angle in a circle with radius is

Also, the area of a circular sector with central angle in a circle with radius is

In both of these formulas, the angle must be measured in radians.

Students may complain that it’d be easy to make a formula of is measured in degrees, and they’d be right:

and

However, getting rid of the makes the following computations from calculus a lot easier.

2a. Early in calculus, the limit

is derived using the Sandwich Theorem (or Pinching Theorem or Squeeze Theorem). I won’t reinvent the wheel by writing out the proof, but it can be found here. The first step of the proof uses the formula for the above formula for the area of a circular sector.

2b. Using the trigonometric identity , we replace by to find

3. Both of the above limits — as well as the formulas for and — are needed to prove that and . Again, I won’t reinvent the wheel, but the proofs can be found here.

So, to make a long story short, radians are used to make the derivatives $y = \sin x$ and $y = \cos x$ easier to remember. It is logically possible to differentiate these functions using degrees instead of radians — see http://www.math.ubc.ca/~feldman/m100/sinUnits.pdf. However, *possible* is not the same thing as *preferable*, as calculus is a whole lot easier without these extra factors of floating around.

# Engaging students: Measures of the angles in a triangle add to 180 degrees

In my capstone class for future secondary math teachers, I ask my students to come up with ideas for *engaging* their students with different topics in the secondary mathematics curriculum. In other words, the point of the assignment was not to devise a full-blown lesson plan on this topic. Instead, I asked my students to think about three different ways of getting their students interested in the topic in the first place.

I plan to share some of the best of these ideas on this blog (after asking my students’ permission, of course).

This student submission comes from my former student Claire McMahon. Her topic, from Geometry: the proof that the measures of the angles in a triangle add to .

One of the hardest concepts in math is learning how to prove something that is already considered to be correct. One of the more difficult concepts to teach could also be said on how to prove things that you had already believed and accepted in the first place. One of these concepts happens to be that a triangle’s angles are always going to add up to 180 degrees. Here is one of the proofs that I found that is absolutely simplistic and most kids will agree with you on it:

This particular proof is from the website http://www.mathisfun.com. This is a great website to simply explain most math concepts and give exercises to practice those math facts. For the more skeptical student, you can use a form of Euclidean and modern fact base to prove this more in depth. I found this proof on http://www.apronus.com/geometry/triangle.htm. Here you will see that there is no question as to why the proof above works and how it doesn’t work when you do a proof by contradiction.

I stumbled across this awesome website that very simply put into context how easy it would be to prove that a triangle’s angles will always add up to 180 degrees. In this activity you take the same triangle 3 times and then have them place all three of the angles on a straight line. This proves that the angles in a triangle will always equal 180 degrees, which is a concept that should have already been taught as a straight line having an “angle” measure of 180. The website for this can be found here: http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/math/geometry/GP5/TRTri.htm.

The triangle is the basis for a lot of math. There is one very important person that really started playing with the idea of a triangle and how 3 straight lines that close to form a figure has a certain amount of properties and similarities to parallels and other figures like it. We base a whole unit on special right triangles in geometry in high school and never know exactly where the term right angle is derived. This man that made the right angle so important in math is none other than Euclid himself. While Euclid never introduced angle measures, he made it very apparent that 2 right angles are always going to be equal to the interior angles of a triangle. Not only did Euclid prove this but he did so in a way that relates to all types of triangles and their similar counterparts using only a straight edge and a compass, pretty impressive!!

# Geometric magic trick

This is a magic trick that my math teacher taught me when I was about 13 or 14. I’ve found that it’s a big hit when performed for grade-school children.

Magician: Tell me a number between 3 and 10.

Child: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: On a piece of paper, draw a shape with corners.

Child: (draws a figure; an example for is shown)

Important Note: For this trick to work, the original shape has to be convex… something shaped like an L or M won’t work. Also, I chose a maximum of 10 mostly for ease of drawing and counting (and, for later, calculating).

Magician: Tell me another number between 3 and 10.

Child: (gives a number, call it )

Magician: Now draw that many dots inside of your shape.

Child: (starts drawing dots inside the figure; an example for )While the child does this, the Magician calculates , writes the answer on a piece of paper, and turns the answer face down.

Magician: Now connect the dots with lines until you get all triangles. Just be sure that no two lines cross each other.

Child: (connects the dots until the shape is divided into triangles; an example is shown)

Magician: Now count the number of triangles.

Child: (counts the triangles)

Magician: Was your answer… (and turns the answer over)?

The reason this magic trick works so well is that it’s so counter-intuitive. No matter what convex gon is drawn, no matter where the points are located, and no matter how lines are drawn to create triangles, there will always be triangles. For the example above, , and there are indeed triangles in the figure.

Why does this magic trick work? I offer a thought bubble if you’d like to think about it before scrolling down to see the answer.

This trick works by counting the measures of all the angles in two different ways.

**Method #1**: If there are triangles created, then the sum of the measures of the angles in each triangle is degrees. So the sum of the measures of all of the angles must be degrees.

Method #2: The sum of the measures of the angles around each interior point is degrees. Since there are interior points, the sum of these angles is degrees.

The measures of the remaining angles add up to the sum of the measures of the interior angles of a convex polygon with sides. So the sum of these measures is degrees.

In other words, it must be the case that

, or .