Topics for Middle School Math Projects, page 1

Analysis of the 24 Gameback to topic list

In 1988, inventor Robert Sun invented the 24 game. “I wanted to demonstrate that mathematics can be powerful, engaging and most of all, fun,” says Sun. “Knowing the answer is always 24 alleviates a classic brand of math anxiety—getting the right answer—and instead puts the emphasis on the process and patterns, what I like to call ‘the method behind the math.’ ” More information about the game can be found at www.math24.com. Many math teachers have the game, and it is also sold at educational stores and teacher stores.

Art & Architecture in Mathback to topic list

Are you considering becoming an artist, designer or architect? Many geometric principles are used by artists and architects in their work. Consider doing some research into specific works of art or specific techniques. See alsoGolden RatioandTessellations.

Binary Number Systemback to topic list

The number system that we use every day is called the Base 10 (decimal) numbering system since it has 10 digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The binary number system only has two digits 0 and 1. Who would use such a system? Your computer!! Challenge: My neighbor Frankie can write his age as 1100 in base 2! (hint:he is in seventh grade)

Binomial Theoremback to topic list

This topic involves expanding a binomial raised to a power. A binomial is an algebraic expression that is the sum of two terms. The binomial theorem expands the (a + b)^{n }, whereaandbare terms in the binomial andnis a numerical exponent. You can also check your expansion using this QuickMath Expand page. (on the QuickMath page, a user can type in an algebraic expression and the computer will return an answer!) The binomial theorem has many applications including probability and physics.

Catalan Numbersback to topic list

The Catalan numbers express the number of ways that a polygon with N sides can be divided into triangles. Diagonals that are drawn are not allowed to intersect. These numbers 1, 2, 5, 14, 42, 132, ... may be found inPascal's Triangle.

Cryptography or Ciphering and Deciphering Codesback to topic list

You may not have realized it, but math is involved in encoding messages. Public key cryptography involves two keys: one that is used to put the message into "code" or cipher and one that is used to decode it. Modulo arithmetic (also known as clock arithmetic) is involved and prime numbers play an important part.

Complex & Imaginary Numbersback to topic list

Complex numbers include all real numbers and all imaginary numbers. The general form for a complex number is a + biwhere a and b are real numbers andi=^{2 }^{-}1. If you have never heard ofi,you might wish to read the online picture book, John and Betty's Journey into Complex Numbers. This book is available online through the Math Forum website and was written by Australian mathematicican Matt Bower.

Conic Sectionsback to topic list

Conic sections are formed by the intersection of a plane with a right circular cone (which resembles a sugar cone without the ice cream). Examples of conic sections include circles, parabolas, hyperbolas and ellipses.

Diophantine Equationsback to topic list

These equations, named after the Greek mathematician Diophantis, are equations in which only integer solutions are involved. Not having fraction or decimal answers make it more challenging. There are rules to predict whether equations have solutions or not.

Fibonacci Sequenceback to topic list

The Fibonacci sequence of numbers is 1, 1, 2,3, 5, 8, 13,... is a recursive function. That means that the next number in the sequence depends on numbers that come before it. To find the next number, add the two previous numbers. ex. 8 + 13 = 21. These numbers are found very often in nature.

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