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April 2005, Volume 98, Issue 8


Cribbage: An Excellent Exercise in Combinatorial Thinking
William Markel
Using combinations and counting in cribbage games. Adding and Multiplying with combinatorics are discussed and using True Basic to explore counting on the computer.

The Legacy of Marin Mersenne: The Search for Primal Order and the Mentoring of Young Minds
Jeffrey Wanko
The pivotal roles that Marin Mersenne played as a recreational mathematician in search of prime number patterns and as a mentor to young mathematicians and scientists. His work is used as an example for today's mathematics teachers in encouraging students to work together and creating environments that foster success for individuals and groups of students. Discusses Mersenne's role in finding large prime numbers and how computers are used to find them now.

Internal Rate of Return
Harris Shultz
How to determine your return on investment when deposits of varying amounts are made over irregular time intervals. Students use calculators and tables to analyze data and make connections between math and money applications.

How Fair Is the Drug Test?
Irina Lyublinskaya
The probability of false positives in drug testing as a math application. Conditional probability is figured, iterations and cobweb diagrams on the graphing calculators.