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February 2003, Volume 96, Issue 2


Benjamin Banneker's Mathematical Puzzles
John Mahoney
Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught African American mathematician, kept a journal containing a number of mathematical puzzles. 200 years later, this article explores four of these puzzles with the aid of twenty-first century technology.

Early Secondary Mathematics: The Use of Intrigue to Enhance Mathematical Thinking and Motivation in Beginning Algebra
Marjorie Lewkowicz
The use of a purposefully designed set of problems, borrowed from a variety of critical thinking activity books, and selected to motivate, excite and engage students in the learning process. Incorporating these problems in a beginning algebra course is intended to help students develop a deeper, more conceptual understanding of mathematics.

Mind Mapping as a Tool in Mathematics Education
Astrid Brinkmann
The technique of mind mapping is presented, its special fitting as a pedagogical tool for mathematics education is pointed out and the possible applications of mind mapping in mathematics education together with their advantages and limits are discussed.

My Calculator Is Broken; It Says the Log of (–1) Is ...
Jeremy Kahan, Glen Richgels
An exploration of logarithms of negative numbers spurred by an unanticipated result given by a calculator. It shares the perspectives of the teacher and the teacher-as-learner.

Finding All Coefficients of a Polynomial with One Calculation
Pavel Satianov
One can compute the values of a polynomial with integer coefficients by using a graphing calculator, but it is impossible to see the formula itself. We need to find this formula from numerical data. The unusual way to solve this problem by one calculation only.

More Meaning From the Geometric Mean
Bryan Dorner
Classroom suggestions for combining numerical, algebraic, and geometric techniques to the understanding of a simple method for computing  square roots. The historical origins of the method illustrate the debt we owe to ancient minds living in what are now India, Pakistan, Iraq, and Egypt.