Pythagorean Triples? (Solution #1, Part 1)

(If you haven’t read the “Problem” post with the same title, go there first. This will make more sense if you do.) We want to find all the Pythagorean triples (a,b,c). The first thing a mathematician would probably do is to try some small examples, gather some information, and then look for patterns within thatContinue reading “Pythagorean Triples? (Solution #1, Part 1)”

Pythagorean Triples? (Problem)

I’ve spent some time thinking about how I want to present things I love on this blog, and one format I’ve come up with is a Problem/Solution series. The idea here is to have two posts with the same name – in one of them, I will explain an interesting problem and try to giveContinue reading “Pythagorean Triples? (Problem)”

What Is a Proof?

I’ve talked a fair amount in some of the earlier posts about the idea of a proof. Now that we’ve developed a conceptual underpinning of what that means, we can see one in action. I hope my readers enjoy this as much as I do, as what we will discuss here is among my favorites.Continue reading “What Is a Proof?”

From Numbers to “Pure” Math: Ancient Greece

In my previous post, I talked about the conceptual progression from the most basic intuitions about counting to the more general idea of number that transcends any particular physical situation. As big a development as this is, I would say this not mathematics proper. In most civilizations where the number concept developed, the most complicatedContinue reading “From Numbers to “Pure” Math: Ancient Greece”

Math is More Than Calculation

Before attempting to start talking about what math is and why I am so interested in it, I want to clarify what it is not. What I’d call math is probably is not what you learned in school. I think a better label for what most people think of when they hear “math” is calculation.Continue reading “Math is More Than Calculation”

Where Did Numbers Come From?

In my last post, I argued that a distinction needs to be made between calculation and math. But certainly these are related, because calculation is about numbers, and math uses a lot of numbers. So what exactly is the connection? Working from my own experience being trained to be a mathematician and educator, as wellContinue reading “Where Did Numbers Come From?”