Mr. Patrick Flynn

Mathematics Department


 

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From 2005 - 2008 I served as an activity writer, blogger and team leader for the award wining We All Use Math Every Day program from Texas Instruments for the Hit CBS show, Numb3rs. Our part was to write mathematical activities that would bring the mathematics of Numb3rs to the High School (and sometimes middle school) level. It was a tremendous experience, and I met many fantastic people.

To help teachers wade through the hundreds of activites this project generated, I helped to create this curriculum map that sorted it all out. This curriculum map also appears on the WAUMED web site

Below are descriptions & download links to all the activities I have written for this project.

 

Season 1  
  SIR Models - Activity written for Numb3rs episode 103 (Vector) This activity will focus on developing the SIR Model and applying it to a population
  Four's & Seven's Oh My ! - Activity written for Numb3rs episode 104 (Structural Corruption) Students will compare outcomes produced by chance to outcomes that could be caused by some other factor
  Exploring Parabolas - Activity written for Numb3rs episode 104 (Structural Corruption) - Students will investigate parabolas of the form y = a(x - b) 2 + c and state the effect each coefficient has on the parabola's graph.
  Prime Time - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #105 ( Prime Suspect): In this activity, students will explore Goldbach's conjecture. Goldbach's conjecture states that any even number greater than 4 can be written as the sum of two odd prime numbers (for example, 12 = 5 + 7).
   
Season 2  
  Telling Time with the Sun - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #204 (Obsession) In this activity, the students calculate the height of various objects using the tangent ratio.
  Financial Futures - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #205 ( Calculated Risk) Students will use the compound interest formula to predict "futures" for finances.
  Error Correction - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #208 (In Plain Site) Students will learn how Hamming codes are used for error correction.
  Mapping Fireprints - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #211 (Scoarched)- Students will find the equation of a plane, using three variables.
  Getting in Focus - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #214 (Harvest)- Students will use the ellipse equation to determine the location of the foci.
  Waxing Elliptical - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #214 (Harvest)- Students will investigate how the distance between foci of an ellipse and the shape of the ellipse are related.
  Walkabout - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #217 (Mind Games)- Learn about random walks and use them to compute an approximation to pi.
  Seeing in the Dark - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #222 (Guns & Roses) Students will u se CBRT 2 technology to recreate an "acoustic fingerprint"
  DNA Sequence Alignment - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #222 (Guns & Roses) Students will u se mathematics and Dijkstra's algorithm to compare two DNA stands.
  Where's the Source ?- Activity written for Numb3rs episode #223 (Undercurrents) Students will use vector fields to make predictions.
   
Season 3  
  Trawling for an Intersection - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #302 (Spree, Part II - Two Daughters - Students will study a problem called the Trawler Problem. This problem involves a fast boat chasing a slow boat until it disappears into a fog bank, at which point the slow boat continues in a straight line in an unknown direction. Students will use parametric equations to model and solve this problem.
  Spiraling Out - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #302 (Spree, Part II - Two Daughters) - Students will use polar graphing to study the graphs of different types of spirals. In the extensions section, students will learn about figures called whirls and how they relate to spirals.
  Coded Messages - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #305 (The Mole) - Students will learn how to apply inverse matrix multiplication to the coding of values and decode intercepted images.
  Is It for Real? - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #308 (Hardball) - In "Hardball," an amateur mathematician uncovers an equation that uses baseball statistics to identify which players are using performance enhancing substances. By analyzing player performance, he is able to determine when an athlete began using a performance enhancing substance. Students will use a sabermetric statistic to identify a change point in a player's data, a point in time where the player's data becomes vastly different from the previous data trend.
  The Perfect House - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #311 (Killer Chat) - The FBI found three bodies in different unoccupied houses, all for sale. Because the victims are completely unrelated, Charlie decides that profiling the houses might reveal a distinct pattern to find out where the killer will strike next. By using a Multi-Attribute Compositional Model, the houses can be analyzed by the characteristics of the house. In this activity, students will use a Multi-Attribute Compositional Model and utility scores to find which characteristics are most valued. The students will explore marketing analysis to determine preferences.
  Restaurant Ranking - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #314 (Take Out) - In "Take Out, a series of restaurant invasions turn deadly. The FBI asks Charlie to help, so he develops a predictive model to try to identify the next restaurant that will be targeted. He says that 'it's a way of investigating a group of things ? in this case, restaurants and identifying their shared properties'. In this activity, students will use directed graphs and probabilities to find which restaurant is most likely to be struck next by the criminals.
  The labyrinth - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #317 (One Hour) -In "One Hour", a group of kidnappers takes a small boy hostage and evades the FBI in a chase through Los Angeles. When Don asks Charlie and Amita to help stay one step ahead of the kidnappers, Charlie realizes that the kidnappers are leading them on a chase through the city as if the streets were a maze-a logic maze. This activity analyzes a logic maze based on the Greek myth about Theseus and the Minotaur.
  Regular Polygons & Centroids - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #320 (Burn Rate) - In "Burn Rate," mail bombs kill a series of seemingly unrelated people. Don asks Charlie to help uncover the source and the link that connects the people. Don's team has determined the locations where the letter bombs were mailed, where the components were bought, etc. Using geo-profiling, Charlie is able to find the likely starting point where the bomber set out to buy his bomb materials. Students will do their own geo-profiling by finding the centroid of regular polygons.
  Irregular Polygons & Centroids - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #320 (Burn Rate) - In "Burn Rate," mail bombs kill a series of seemingly unrelated people. Don asks Charlie to help uncover the source and the link that connects the people. Don's team has determined the locations where the letter bombs were mailed, where the components were bought, etc. Using geo-profiling, Charlie is able to find the likely starting point where the bomber set out to buy his bomb materials. Students will do their own geo-profiling by finding the centroid of irregular polygons.
  Velocity of Circulation - Activity written for Numb3rs episode #323 (Money for Nothing) - In "Money for Nothing," an armored truck carrying cash is hijacked and held for ransom. The hijacked money was intended to be used for 'microcredit.' Charlie explains that microcredit generates more money because as people buy and sell goods, money is distributed and more people have cash to spend and invest.
Students will conduct a simulation to demonstrate microcredit.

 

 

 
 

 

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