January 31, 2009
“Why are there Animals with Spotted Bodies and Striped Tails, but No Animal with a Striped Body and
An interactive session led by Dr. Keith Devlin
Executive Director of Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Language and Information, and a consulting Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University
Animals come in many colors and have a wide variety of coat patterns. In general, their coat colorations have evolved to help them to survive – for example, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings, scare away predators, or attract mates. But what determines the specific coat pattern that will develop on a growing animal? The surprising answer is mathematics. While this “geometry of living things” is fairly new to us, it has been part of nature for millions of years.
Dr. Keith Devlin gave the inaugural KTU interactive session. He is National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition commentator (known as “The Math Guy”), the executive director of Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Language and Information, and a consulting Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. He has published many books and articles on mathematics and how mathematics relates to the everyday world.
Click here to see the 1st day of KTU highlighted in the Roanoke Times
January 2009 - Hands-On Activity
After the interactive session the students were escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event, which was held at the Math Emporium.
There the students worked with a math computer graphics program called “Explorations in Math and Science Through Computer Graphics" which was led and developed by Ms. Terri Bourdon.