Ivan De Winne: Mathematics teacher
Ivan teaches mathematics at a secondary school in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. He also works part-time as in-service teacher trainer and is involved in several European projects. He strongly believes in the use of maths-software to explore mathematical concepts.
His favourite maths websites are described below.
Plus is an internet magazine which aims at introducing readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics.
This portal provides articles, from the top mathematicians and science writers (about applications of maths to real-world problems, games, and puzzles) as well as reviews of popular maths books and events. A news section shows how recent news stories are often based on some underlying piece of maths that never made it to the newspapers. You can also find mathematical curiosities, opinions on various maths-related topics; and read regular career interviews, illustrating the wide range of uses maths gets put to in the real world. And all the archives remain available online, which besides making for good browsing is a useful resource for maths school students and teachers.
The “Geniaal bvba” website is based on the concept of the diffusion of a mathematical idea into various fields and applications. It features the Superformula, trademark of Geniaal bvba, which is a new, ingenious and very simple formula which presents us with a highly original and refreshing look at nature and science.
This website is intended to show that the Superformula is not a complex mathematical theory, probably because it is rooted in nature and in all living things. Mother nature is a mathematician of the first order and our challenge is to unravel her secrets. The Superformula is a single equation that uses one basic variable to create a direct relationship between circles and squares, spider-webs and shells, flowers and leaves.
The Superformula has been developped further for various applications in education, science, and technology. Among the fields of application are computer graphics, video compression technology, image recognition techniques, computer vision and artificial intelligence.
Sodaplay.com is the home of Sodaconstructor, an online Java-based simulator that allows you to construct robots, build interactive creations using limbs and muscles. By altering physical properties like gravity, friction, and speed, curiously anthropomorphic models can be made to walk, climb, wriggle, jiggle, or collapse into a writhing heap. Visit the "sodazoo," where you can explore a strange and diverse menagerie of models that an active worldwide community of sodaplayers have placed.
Mathsnet is an independent educational website which offers free mathematics resources to the education community. This very useful and entertaining material provides insight into mathematical concepts and ideas for making mathematics more relevant. Its aim is to make available truly interactive resources that are both wide and deep in terms of their applicability and usefulness.
In this website, you will find interesting discussion forums, puzzles, and reviews of calculators, software and books.
Try the Curriculum section for AS/A2 resources. This area includes a glossary, exam advice, graphs, charts, exam questions, and proofs. There are also some excellent resources for the numeracy basic skills and features on geometry, graphs, algebra, and fractions.
WIRIS is a mathematical calculation platform, accessible from the Internet, with a wide range of application in different fields from primary school to university. You access a free web page where you can ask for your calculations and receive your answer immediately.
One of the strong points of this portal is its user- friendly system. The mathematical expressions language, closer as possible to mathematical notation, does not only include integral or limit symbols but also offers the mathematical commands in his mother language. The tools, calculating services and contents, are multilingual. Nowadays WIRIS is being used in English, Spanish, Catalan, Flemish and Basque language by several educational communities. The fine language and a powerful mathematical engine make WIRIS the right tool to generate interactive mathematical content on the Internet. Thanks to the calculation user interface, you can easily generate sharable HTML contents.
WIRIS is offering wirisonline.net in Dutch for Belgium and the Netherlands. The portal supplies not only the mathematical calculation service but also web space for WIRIS materials and content generation services.
Mac Tutor History of Mathematics
Interested in finding information about the history of mathematics and mathematicians? Go to the “Mac Tutor History of Mathematics” website, which is the perfect internet location for the history of mathematics. It contains a wealth of information on the subject. Here you can find biographies of more than 1300 mathematicians, histories of individual mathematical topics, timelines, search capabilities and much more.
The “famous curves index” gives you access to a list of more than 60 curves with their history and properties. Another section called “Mathematician of the day” highlights a list of mathematicians born or died the day you are visiting the website.
Running since March 1998 and based at the Austrian University of Vienna, Maths online is a gallery of multimedia learning material. The project, aimed at the construction of a modern mathematics learning site on the web, has the ambition of contributing to the development of adequate standards for up-to-date maths education in school, high school, college, university, and adults' qualification.
Learning mathematics is a complex issue: easy for some and difficult for others. In each case it requires efforts which may not be reduced to zero. Don’t forget that mathematical fields, structures and insights, computation methods and argumentation techniques have been developed in a long historical process.
Nevertheless, suitable forms of teaching and learning may help one finding an approach to this formal and abstract world. It is an important objective of modern didactics to make clear on which issues the efforts should be concentrated.
Math online does not want to teach some kind of "new mathematics", but rather the traditional goals of this subject, supported by modern methods.