Alex Stern was a High School student volunteering at a nursing home when he heard about data analytics for the first time. Now, a few years later, he’s finishing college and presenting for NFL teams at the Big Data Bowl. Read about his story here.
Watch the above video and answer the following questions:
The first computation they wanted to attempt was 8810. In a couple of sentences, explain where those values came from (what does each number represent) and why they ended up abandoning that plan.
What mathematical calculation did they compute where the answer was 68.7 billion melodies? What did those values represent that led them to that answer?
The computer programmers created these 68.7 billion melodies in 6 days. Before this, assuming music was being written in the traditional way, how long was it estimated to take before we “ran out of new music”?
The creators of this project explain that they did not do this so they could force payment for any new melody. Explain who they are trying to support by embarking on this project.
Write a paragraph expressing your opinion: Should people be able to “own” a melody? If there are a finite number of melodies available to humans, is it right for any one person to own one (or more) of them?
Thanks to Braun M. for suggesting this badge opportunity!
Did you know that the ancient Japanese art of paper folding (origami) is mathematical in nature? Did you know that NASA actually uses origami when designing spacecrafts? Watch the video above to learn more!
Watch the video above. In a short paragraph, summarize how NASA uses origami when designing spacecrafts. Then, visit THIS PAGE of origami instructions to create any flower of your choice (if you don’t have suitable origami paper, Mr. Bezaire has some you can borrow). Include a picture of this origami creation in your Badge Google Doc. Then, write a second paragraph that describes different mathematical properties/ideas/concepts that you saw and experienced while making your origami creation.
Many people’s home computers sit idly during the day when homeowners are away at work or school. Did you know that some organizations allow you to connect your computer to a mainframe so that they can “borrow” bits of your operating power to work on difficult problems? The Charity Engine is one, and it helped to solve one of history’s great unsolved math problems.
A data scientist studied the transcripts for every episode of the hit TV show Friends to try and determine who the real “star” of the show is. Which Friend is the show really about? Read the article to find out more.
Assuming you are familiar with the show Friends (why are you doing this badge otherwise?! There are plenty of others that might interest you more!), write a short paragraph explaining which Friend you think is the main character of the show. Explain your reasons for making that choice.
Then read the article linked above.
In a second paragraph, explain the data scientist’s reasoning for making his choice. Include the five categories (graph headings) that he studied and how they helped him to arrive at his conclusion.
Then, in a final paragraph, state a data point that you think the data scientist should have also included to help make his decision. What other information do you think could help decide who the most important character is on Friends? Do you think including this information would change the results of the study?
As part of Chalkdust Magazine‘s celebration of Black Mathematician Month 2018, Dr. Nira Chamberlain discusses one of Shuri’s creations in Marvel’s Black Panther movie; T’challa’s suit, which supposedly disperses energy from impact blows and absorbs the shock to minimize damage. Is this mathematically possible? Read on to find out!
In a paragraph, describe what would have to be true about a suit that disperses kinetic energy in the way that Black Panther’s suit does in the movie. A suit like that hasn’t been invented yet, but a mathematical model has been made. Describe in your own words what characteristics that suit would have in order to make the energy dispersal possible.
In a second paragraph, think of some movie tech that doesn’t yet exist (choose a favorite movie that contains some sci-fi or futuristic element to it). If you were to make a theoretical model of that tech, what type of mathematical and scientific questions would you have to address before attempting to build a prototype? For T’challa’s suit, mathematicians had to determine how to disperse the shock of impact. What would have to be mathematically feasible for different movie tech? Be sure to tell me what movie and what tech you’re discussing!
Watch the video and read the accompanying article. Write a paragraph that explains the difference between the “traditional” way of making roasted potatoes and the “new, mathematical” way. What changes were made and what is the advantage? How did chefs determine that the new way was in fact “better”?
In a second paragraph, describe another food that you think might be improved using mathematics to aid in the preparation. Describe a hypothesis you might have about how that food might be improved using mathematics and why you think it would be an improvement. Give a diagram if it helps your explanation.