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        NOVA Math Resources

        Among other topics, our math resources include videos and articles about mathematical concepts in nature, concepts of prime numbers and infinity, using math in everyday life, and women in mathematics.

        • Twin Prime Conjecture

          Grades: 5-12
          Provided By: NOVA scienceNow
          Video

          Prime numbers (those that can only be divided by themselves and one) bear a mystery. Why do primes tend to pair up? Five and seven, for example, are prime, as are 41 and 43, and 101 and 103.

        • Learn how UPS, a global package delivery company, has developed an algorithm to schedule routes for its delivery trucks in this video from NOVA: Making Stuff Faster.

        • Describing Nature With Math

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Document

          Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" richly depict their natural subjects, as do Monet's water lilies and Ansel Adams' photos of Yosemite. How can you describe a tree, cloud, rippled pond, or swirling galaxy using numbers?

        • Contemplating Infinity

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Document

          The word after "infinity" in my dictionary is "infirm," a definition of which is "weak of mind." This is how many of us who are not mathematically inclined feel upon contemplating infinity.

        • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Maria Klawe

          Grades: 5-12
          Provided By: NOVA scienceNow
          Video

          In this video profile from NOVA scienceNOW: "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers," meet mathematician Maria Klawe. Even though Klawe grew up in a time when girls were not expected to excel in mathematics, for her, it came easy.

        • Andrew Wiles on Solving Fermat

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Document

          Andrew Wiles devoted his career to proving Fermat's Last Theorem, a challenge that perplexed the best minds in mathematics for 300 years. In 1993, he made front-page headlines when he announced a proof of the problem, but this was not the end of the story.

        • A Radical Mind

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Document

          In this interview, hear from the Benoit Mandelbrot, father of fractals about why he disdains rules, why he considers himself a philosopher, and why he abandons work on any given advance in fractals as soon as it becomes popular.

        • Imagining Other Dimensions

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Document

          For most of us, it's impossible to imagine a world consisting of more than three spatial dimensions. Are we correct when we intuit that such a world couldn't exist? Or is it that our brains are simply incapable of imagining additional dimensions?

        • Mathematical Siblings

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA scienceNow
          Document

          In this article from NOVA scienceNOW, mathematical siblings Gregory and David Chudnovsky, who seem to almost think with one mind, banter about numbers theory, advanced computing, and the importance and aesthetics of mathematics.

        • Photographing a Famous Tapestry

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA scienceNow
          Document

          The Metropolitan Museum of Art's celebrated unicorn tapestry was surprisingly difficult to photograph. Find out why in this article from NOVA scienceNOW.

        • Wisdom of the Crowds: Expert Q&A

          Grades: 9-12
          Provided By: NOVA scienceNow
          Document

          On July 7, 2008, Ed George answered questions concerning the "wisdom-of-the-crowds" concept and how it applies to the stock market and other entities.

        • RSA Algorithm

          Grades: 6-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Video

          Learn about a common method for encrypting electronic information. The RSA algorithm, named for the three mathematicians that first published it (Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman), capitalizes on the fact that it is very difficult to factor very large numbers.

        • Zombies and Calculus, Part 1

          Grades: 6-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Video

          Learn about the math behind predator-prey population cycles in this video. In this example, zombie and human populations fluctuate. Because these populations are related, the growth rate of each depends on the current number of both humans and zombies.

        • Zombies and Calculus, Part 2

          Grades: 6-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Video

          Learn about tangent vectors in this video. In this hypothetical world, zombies always move straight toward humans. However, when the human moves, the zombie's tangent vector points to where the human is at that instant, not to where the human is going.

        • Cyber Codes

          Grades: 6-12
          Provided By: NOVA
          Video

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