# Monthly Archive: August 2012

## Sunflowers are applied mathematicians at heart

I have known about the beauty of the pattern of seeds in the heads of sunflowers for a long time now, but still stare in wonder just as I did when I saw it the first time. You count the number of spirals in each direction and find that they are two consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence. I recently...

I looked into the feasibility of using iPads in the maths classroom last year and concluded that the time wasn’t quite right. The ‘planets were moving into alignment’, with the direction of technological development leading towards the iPad being a brilliant learning tool in the maths classroom, but they weren’t there yet. The lack of Flash compatibility was a big...

## Sierpinski fractals hiding in Pascal’s Triangle!

Write out the first 64 lines of Pascal’s Triangle, or better still, get a spreadsheet to do the work for you. Then colour in black all the numbers that are odd. Leave the even numbers white. What do you get? You get the famous Sierpinski Triangle fractal! You may have read my recent post The Chaos Game- a very surprising...

## The Chaos Game- a very surprising result

Created by Michael Barnsley, The Chaos Game is a deceptively simple idea, but the results are astonishing. Start with an equilateral triangle, a pencil, a ruler and a die. Label one vertex of the triangle “1 and 2”, the next “3 and 4” and the final one “5 and 6”. Mark a dot on one of the vertices of the...