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Math Illuminated - real life math examples

By Murray Bourne, 01 Jul 2009

Many readers write to me asking for examples of "real life math". Here's a resource that you may find useful: Math Illuminated.

Are you interested in the connection between math and real life or maybe you’re a teacher and looking for some real life math to share with your students? This resource may help.

As their blurb says:

Mathematics Illuminated is a thirteen-part series for adult learners and high school teachers. The series explores major themes in the field of mathematics, from humankind's earliest study of prime numbers, to the cutting-edge mathematics used to reveal the shape of the universe.

The materials for each topic include videos, Flash interactives, a "textbook" with good explanations of the concepts, a facilitator guide and a bibliography for further reading. There's also an interactive Math Family Tree which shows how various discoveries in math are related, and when they appeared (via a timeline).

I mentioned Mathematics Illuminated before in Friday Math Movie – Math Illuminated but I was concentrating on the videos at that time.

So next time you are wondering how to convert a math lesson into a real life scenario, Math Illuminated may give you some starter ideas.

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To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
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  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can mix both types of math entry in your comment.


Tips, tricks, lessons, and tutoring to help reduce test anxiety and move to the top of the class.