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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Memories... (and Sparks)


I've occasionally thought about asking here about people's earliest memories of being attracted to mathematics. What problem/puzzle, parent/teacher, or book or event, do you remember spurring an early interest in numbers/math? 
A tweet yesterday inspires me to finally try the question out. 
"15yo has an interesting question this morning: What's the first major news story you can remember living through as a child?"
...and got a huge response from folks bringing forth early historical memories from their lives. Of course I don't expect such an outpouring for math memories, but still might be interesting.

One of my own early memories, which I've written about here before, was viewing a large, glass-encased "Galton board" at the Field Museum in Chicago (1950s), and being mesmerized, as a child, by the individual balls falling "randomly" or unpredictably from the top, yet attaining a specific pattern (Bell Curve) time and time again once all balls had settled at the bottom. Didn't really know what it meant, but knew it was something deep.

What early memories do others have that helped spark your journey to mathematics???



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