Can you sort a stack of pancakes by size, from the smallest on the top to the largest on the bottom, using only a single plate and a spatula, flipping 2 or more pancakes at the top of the stack (possibly the entire stack) with each flip? How many flips does it take?
Join the ranks of the notables who've tackled this problem, including Bill Gates and David S. Cohen (a.k.a. David X. Cohen, writer & producer of The Simpsons and Futurama).
James Taylor, of the Math Circles Collaborative of New Mexico, organizes and conducts a Math Circle in Santa Fe for teachers (and others involved in education) in northern New Mexico. The teachers' circle explores mathematics using not only classic Math Circle problems, but also problems brought to the group by members and guest speakers. The participants engage first as students, investigating the problems; then they discuss the opportunities and potential pitfalls that may be encountered in introducing the problems to their own students.
Santa Fe Prep
1101 Camino de la Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, NM 87505
This month’s circle will provide you with a simple puzzle, accessible to elementary school students, but one which will present some surprises that should bring smiles to experienced mathematicians. I will also tell you about the "Missing 'M' in STEM" talk that I just gave at JMM 2017 in Atlanta, based on my work with circle member Nick Bennett.
Explore the surprising variations in conceptually simple sequences of numbers, constructed by applying one of two operations to generate each successive term. Can you make the sequence return to its starting value?
Fold a long strip of paper in half several times. Can you see a pattern in the creases formed along the length of the paper? What sorts of route do we trace if we use the creases to direct our turns along a path?