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Although fractal images can be intriguingly complex, fractals are more than just pretty pictures. In this project, you'll explore the mathematical properties of the famous Mandelbrot (illustration on the Background tab) and Julia sets. You'll learn about how these images are generated, and about the relationship between the Mandelbrot set and the Julia sets.
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Math_p013

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Time Required

Average (6-10 days)

Prerequisites

Good understanding of algebra, excellent computer skills

Almost all of the games we play are based on math in some way or another. Card games, board games, and computer games are designed using statistics, probabilities, and algorithms. Begin by reading about games and game theory. Then you can choose your favorite game and investigate the mathematical principles behind how it works. Can combinatorial game theory help you to win two-player games of perfect knowledge such as go, chess, or checkers? (Weisstein, 2006; Watkins, 2004) In a multi-player…
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How do you turn a 2-dimensional piece of paper into a 3-dimensional work of art? Origami, the classical art of Japanese paper folding, is loaded with mathematical themes and concepts. What are the common folds in origami, and how do they combine to create 3-dimensional structure? Can you classify different types of origami into classes based upon the types of folds they use? Can you show Kawasaki's Theorem, that if you add up the angle measurements of every other angle around a point, the sum…
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Music has many mathematical elements in it: rhythm, pitch, scale, frequency, interval, and ratio. There are many ways to turn these elements into a science fair project. You can investigate how the scale is based upon a special type of number sequence called a Harmonic Series. Another scale used by Bach, called the "Well-Tempered-Scale" or the "Equal-Tempered-Scale", is based upon a series. How are these mathematical series and ratios related to notes, chords, intervals, and octaves? You can…
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You may know Lewis Carroll as the author of Alice in Wonderland, but did you know that in real life he was a mathematician who studied symbolic logic and logical reasoning? How can math help you solve Lewis Carroll's Logic Game? (Bogomolny, 2006) How are algorithms for solving the game Sudoku similar to solving a logic problem? (Hayes, 2006) For the super-advanced mathematical genius, try to evaluate currently available, logic-based computational tools, or design a better one!…
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What do knots, maps, mazes, driving directions, and doughnuts have in common? The answer is topology, a branch of mathematics that studies the spatial properties and connections of an object. Topology has sometimes been called rubber-sheet geometry because it does not distinguish between a circle and a square (a circle made out of a rubber band can be stretched into a square) but does distinguish between a circle and a figure eight (you cannot stretch a figure eight into a circle without…
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This is an interesting geometry project that goes back to the time of Archimedes, the famous Greek mathematician. You can combine this mathematical project with computer science and take this ancient problem into the twenty-first century with a dynamic diagram using the geometry applet.
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Math_p018

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

You should either currently be taking or have already completed a first course in geometry. You must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof.

Here is a project that combines Computer Science and Mathematics. Prove a method for circumscribing a circle about a triangle (as shown). You'll also learn how to create an interactive diagram to illustrate your proof, using an applet that runs in your Web browser. If you like solving problems and thinking logically, you'll like this project.
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CompSci_p007

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

Must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof

Material Availability

Readily available (laptop computer helpful for live demonstration)

Here is a project that combines Computer Science and Mathematics. Prove a method for inscribing a circle within a triangle (as shown). You'll also learn how to create an interactive diagram to illustrate your proof, using an applet that runs in your Web browser. If you like solving problems and thinking logically, you'll like this project.
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CompSci_p004

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

Must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof

Material Availability

Readily available (laptop computer helpful for live demonstration)

Take shots at a set distance from the basket, but systematically vary the angle to the backboard. For a basic project: How do you think your success rate will vary with angle? Draw a conclusion from your experimental results. A bar graph showing success rate at different angles can help to illustrate your conclusion. For a more advanced project: Use your knowledge of geometry and basketball to come up with a mathematical expression to predict your success rate as a function of angle…
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