Research Projects

Another project I’m drafting this summer is an interdisciplinary, unit-length research project. Initially inspired by Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (available for free download at that link), the project will require students to complete several mini-projects in core subjects as well as write a medium length research paper. Ideally this would last about 3 weeks and include a few days in class but mostly be an out of class project.

Setup

TBA. Possibilities include a tic-tac-toe board or each project being worth a certain # of points (more points=harder/lengthier project or higher-level math) with students needing to reach a total.

 

Mini-Project Ideas

  • Posterboard/Trifold: “What is the fewest number of colours needed to colour any map if the rule is that no two countries with a common border can have the same colour. Who discovered this? Why is the proof interesting? What if Mars is also divided into areas so that these areas are owned by different countries on earth. They too are coloured by the same rule but the areas there must be coloured by the colour of the country they belong to. How many colours are now needed?” (link)
  • Read about Bayesian Analysis in Little Brother (around p. 109). Pretend that you are an advisor to the president and write up a 1-pager to explain  how Bayesian Analysis might be used in his or her administration.
  • Make a PowerPoint or Prezi on False Positives (p. 128 in LB). Present to your teacher and some classmates for a minimum of 6 minutes.
  • Read This and summarize it in a letter to a 5-year old relative. Then research and explain another use of the Gini Coefficient.

To Be Fleshed Out More

  • Research countable and uncountable infinities
  • Learn about cryptography; create a key-signing ring ?

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"God made the integers; all else is the work of man." – Leopold Kronecker

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