When you see light from a fixture shining against a wall, you often observe some very clear, sharp curves as the boundaries between light and dark areas. Those curves are generally hyperbolas. Why? The light from the source is generally blocked off to produce a cone of light, and then that cone is intersected with [...]

## Author Archives: MoMath

### Tours are Modular

A big bag of mathematical tricks will help create your own tours in virtually any context.

### Dream a Theme

✹ You want the tour to gel into an experience for the participants. ✹ Distills and reinforces a “take-home message”. ✹ Helps to filter the myriad of ideas that you will encounter once you’re looking at the world through mathematical lenses. ✹ Conversely, also helps you to generate fresh ideas, as you flesh out your [...]

### Use the Built Environment

✷ Shows math is useful and that people use it to make our world a better place. ✷ Mathematical ideas are used so often for and in decoration and adornment. Shows math off as a creative and aesthetic endeavor. ✷ These items will be the mainstay of your tour construction. ✷ They provide a source [...]

### Use the Natural Environment

❅ Math is intrinsic to our world ❅ That’s shown best by “finding” the math in nature ❅ Great potential for the “Aha!” effect ❅ Shows math as relevant and connected

### The Value of Props

Nothing creates a “magic moment” like pulling out the unusual or offbeat, yet highly appropriate, prop from your bag.

### Know Your Territory

Creating a math tour requires familiarity at a significant level of detail with the route you will be covering.

### Finding the Hidden Math

This blog of the National Museum of Mathematics not only records highlights of many of the math tours given by the Museum over the years, but but includes ideas and processes used to create those tours, as a resource so that you can create tours, too. So the first idea to get across is that [...]