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Archive for December, 2010

A very Merry Christmas to all our Subscribers and Readers!

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Season's Greetings from the Maths team at Longman! (Picture shows Broad Street, Oxford. Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a photo we took last Saturday on Broad Street, Oxford, in the midst of a heavy snowfall. Our offices are not (sadly) in this shot – we’re a couple of miles up the road.

Thanks for being part of our blog through 2010.  We’ll be back with you, and blogging again, in early January. Until then, have a lovely Christmas break and our very best wishes for 2011!

The Maths Publishing team at Longman

Evariste Galois: the 20 year old mathematician who fought a duel

December 21, 2010 1 comment

Some stories you just couldn’t make up.  Evariste Galois was a young French Mathematician, who wrote his most important work on algebra and symmetry, now known as Galois theory, the night before dying in the strange symmetry of a pistol duel.  And that’s without mentioning Galois’ involvement in the 1830 Revolution, his imprisonment, and his unrequited love affair.

Our thanks to Republic of Mathematics, which brought these two videos to our attention.  The first is a TED talk by Marcus du Sautoy on Galois and symmetry, the second is a short documentary on Galois’ life. 

Click to play documentary.

Sometimes it’s hard to engage students with the lives of great mathematicians.  Have a go with this one.  The ingredients are remarkable.

Sherlock Holmes Christmas Maths Challenge: Episode 6 Solution

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Congratulations to the winners of the 6th and Final Episode of our Sherlock Holmes Maths Competition

Year 10 Set 1 from Canon Palmer School in Essex (Teacher: Ms R Gorschia)

They correctly worked out where Holmes and Watson must rush to defuse Moriarty’s devilish doomsday device…

"Hurry Watson - the weapon's about to fire!" Click to download PDF.

…THE ANGEL OF THE NORTH!

Here’s the full solution to all the clues in Episode 6:

Clue 1: David Boreanz (the actor on the top left of the newspaper clipping) plays the character “Angel” in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spin-off series Angel.

Clue 2: The exhibition advertised is at the Laing Gallery, which is in Newcastle.  The artist mentioned, Anthony Gormley, is the artist who designed the Angel of the North.

Clue 3: The main news story refers to Carville Power Station being reopened.  Carville Power Station is in Wallsend, near Newcastle.  The article mentions the power station could provide 25 MW of power: more than the 18 MW required by Moriarty’s EMP in episode 5.

Clue 4: The special offers at the bottom of the newspaper advertised Dan Brown books.  Dan Brown wrote a book called “Angels and Demons”.  Also advertised was a signed Alan Shearer shirt.  Alan Shearer played most of his career at Newcastle United, and a large Alan Shearer shirt was famously draped across the Angel of the North soon after its construction.

Clue 5: Click here to find the full crossword solution.  The full solution provides the number 1201533365.  If you visit the http://tinyurl.com/1201533365 you will find a picture of the Angel of the North.

Clue 6: The first entry in the lonely hearts column refers to looking in maths books for clues.  In Holmes’s case notes he mentions using the Longman AQA GCSE Mathematics Middle Sets book as a clue.  Each pair of numbers in the lonely hearts column refers to a word in this book.  The first number is a page number and the second number is a word number.  So for example the first word is the 13th word on page 242.  The six words spell out WEAPON IN HEAVENLY IMAGE IN GATESHEAD.  A reference to the location of the Angel of the North.

Clue 7: The third lonely hearts advert is from Moriarty!  He asks Holmes to include the code 26435 in his text message when responding.  If you enter these digits in to a text message with predictive text messaging on it will spell out the word ANGEL.

Clue 8: The fourth lonely hearts advert is for an “Outdoorsy Type”.  This advert refers to the Angel of the North, which is constructed from steel and is 12 years old.

Click here for the full solution to Episode 6 in Word format. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this competition – many thanks for taking part, and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Sherlock Holmes Christmas Challenge: Extension to deadline!

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

We’re extending the deadline for entries to the 6th and Final Episode of our Sherlock Holmes Maths Competition to:

5pm on MONDAY, 20th DECEMBER

Click here to see all 6 Episodes and full details of the competition.  All Maths teachers are welcome to enter! 

The winning entry will unravel the mystery and solve/identify the most clues.   The prize is a Christmas hamper packed with good things – GOOD LUCK!

 

“Fork Handles” for a Functional Christmas! Free maths resources!

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In the spirit of the season, this Level 2 Functional Maths resource is free to download!

This is part of Longman’s new AQA Functional Mathematics resource for Level 1 and Level 2. If you’re not teaching Functional Maths as a separate qualification, the activities will work equally well to support AQA GCSE Maths 2010.

What’s involved?

  • Geometric shapes – recognise and use 2D representations of 3D objects
  • Starting up a new business
  • 4 candles

Christmas candles - click to download the PDF (2MB, so may be slow!)

And here are the Lesson Plan and Model Answers.

H A P P Y  C H R I S T M A S !

Christmas Maths Challenge – win a Christmas Hamper!

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

MATHS TEACHERS – solve this Sherlock Holmes Christmas Maths Mystery and win a hamper packed with excellent things! 

Simply download the two PDF’s below, solve the clues, and send your answers to sherlockh_221b@yahoo.co.uk by 5pm on Monday 13th December:

"Where the Devil has he hidden it, Watson?" Help Holmes and Watson find Moriarty's doomsday weapon before it's too late! Click to download PDF.

Crucial hints from "The Examiner"? That's a first. Click to download PDF.

You’re taking part in the sixth and final episode of our Sherlock Holmes Maths competition.   The prize will go to the answer which solves/identifies the most clues.  All Maths teachers and Maths classes are welcome – MERRY CHRISTMAS!



EPISODE 6: Sherlock Holmes Maths Competition – the GRAND FINALE!

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE DEVIL’S EYE

FINAL EPISODE (6) – P I E C E S   O F   E I G H T

The story so far… Called to investigate the disappearance from Harrods of the world’s largest ruby, the Devil’s Eye, Holmes and Watson follow a trail of clues around London.  Moving between some of London’s darkest corners and brightest attractions, it becomes clear that they’re caught up in something far bigger than a simple jewel heist…

It also becomes clear that their every move has been manipulated from the start.  At the end of Episode 5, they find themselves led, in a humbling figure-of-eight, back to the very spot from which they started: 221B BAKER STREET.  And who’s been yanking their chain?  Why, their old nemesis MORIARTY.  And what is the real crime that he’s planning?  To use the Devil’s Eye as the key component in building the world’s most powerful EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) weapon – an 18 Megawatt monster, capable of knocking out any electronic device in a 10 mile radius,  including aircraft guidance systems…  

Help Holmes and Watson locate the weapon before mayhem is unleashed:

"Where the Devil has he hidden it, Watson?" Help Holmes and Watson find the EMP weapon before it's too late. Click to download PDF.

And here a crucial newspaper cutting, in which you’ll find clues & hints:

Crucial hints from "The Examiner"? That's a first. Click to download PDF.

WHAT TO DO:

DOWNLOAD BOTH PDFs, SOLVE THE CLUES, AND LET US KNOW WHERE MORIARTY HAS HIDDEN THE WEAPON BY SUBMITTING YOUR ANSWERS TO:

SherlockH_221B@yahoo.co.uk 

BY 5pm ON MONDAY 13th DECEMBER.

There are several clues concealed in these PDF’s: the WINNER will be the one who SPOTS/SOLVES the greatest number!

THE PRIZE FOR WINNING THE GRAND FINALE: A CHRISTMAS HAMPER, PACKED WITH GOOD THINGS, TO SHARE WITH YOUR CLASS!

Remember: If you’re new to this competition, or haven’t participated in every Episode, it doesn’t matter!  Any Maths teacher is welcome to enter this Final Round, and can catch up with all the action on this dedicated page of our blog.

HINT: You may find having a copy of our AQA Middle Sets Student Book to hand helps prevent a lonely heart…