Mike Down Under!
This week I’m here in Melbourne, Australia at the Orientation to Adolescent Studies at Templestowe College. It is such a cool campus and everyone has been welcoming to me. These are the students’ alpacas from their farm, not the participants. They are cool too. I had a great three days meeting the participants and giving a few talks. My favorite talk is probably the evening session about Math History! I always run out of time to tell my stories. Perhaps I should create a compendium of stories for the adolescent when I finish the geometry book?
I talked about what I always call the 3x+1 puzzle, but its actual name is the Colatz Conjecture! It goes like this…start with a number; if it is even, divide by 2; if it is odd, triple it and add 1. Now do the same with this new number. How far can you go? It’s a great activity to do with students for practice in mental math. Same with the Goldbach Conjecture; that any even number can be written as the sum of two primes. Fun for students to try. And if students can prove the Goldbach Conjecture, there is a million dollar prize in it for them. I’ll just take 5%, thanks.