Fractals & Dynamics: Adventures in Problem Solving
Explore the dynamic processes of how fractals form in nature, while expanding on ideas from school mathematics to create your own beautiful fractal images.
(This course is targeted at children entering Grades 7, 8, 9, 10 in 2020-21)
Mathematicians are not human calculators. They are observers who learn to see what the untrained eye does not notice and thinkers who use logic to look beyond the obvious.
In this course you will explore fractals- highly complex shapes that inhabit a zone between dimensions! You can find fractals in coastlines, trees, clouds, mountains, river basins, and the circulatory systems of living organisms. Mathematicians and artists use fractals to create intricate and beautiful images. Movie producers use them to design artificial landscapes in science fiction and fantasy films. Yet, despite their complexity, fractals are formed from relatively simple mathematical and physical processes. In this course, you will explore some of these dynamical processes while expanding on ideas from school mathematics to create your own beautiful fractal images.
The highly interactive sessions will involve working independently and in small groups as well as sharing and discussing your work with others. After each interactive session, students will work on their own to extend the problems further and frame questions for future exploration. Students will submit the assignments and their questions and will receive feedback and responses from the instructor.
Every day Jerry assigns work; his comments on the submitted assignment are so good; he provides clues for moving to the next step. I am a student of Math myself. Jerry is doing a great job which cannot be valued in money terms. Lucky are his students!
- Jayasri Bhattacharya, mother of a student
Jerry Burkhart is a mathematics educator who has spent his career bringing math to life for students from early elementary school through the university level. For over 20 years, his specialty was teaching advanced learners in middle school (grades 5-8) and working with teachers to support the needs of talented math students of all ages. He is the author of the six-book series, Advanced Common Core Math Explorations published by Prufrock Press, and he presents regularly at state, regional, and national conferences in the U.S. on the topics related to mathematical talent development.
He is a member of the community of educational consultants at MyEd Expert (myedexpert.com) and is the founder of 5280 Math Education, which offers tools and strategies for adventurous math learners and their mentors (5280math.com). He has also conducted 2 very successful "mathematical thinking" summer courses for gifted students in India, since 2016.
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