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Numbers Made Real

Just in case you missed browsing through this issue at your local dentist's office, you need to find the September 12, 2005, issue of TIME Magazine. It has an interesting section on applications of mathematics. As the article begins: Creating something out of math models is difficult. Creating something useful is genius. Here are some who did.

The specific stories in this section include:

  • Pingsha Dong's use of mathematics to revolutionize the life span of a welded joint
  • Gregory Chaitin's discovery of Omega, a new number that addresses Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and Turing's Halting Problem in a manner that applies to cryptography
  • Dave Williams'invention of a ice machine that doesn't use electricity or chemical refrigerants
  • Dorry Segev and Sommer Gentry's algorithm to save lives by matching kidney donors and patients
  • Erik Demaine's investigations of origami to solve engineering problems

As mathematics teachers, we need to search for and use every connection of mathematics to the real world, especially if they are found in a rsepected journals. You might even do a survey to see how many of your students happened to see (let alone read) this article.