February 17 Math Minute

Numberphile is a YouTube channel that posts many videos about many different math concepts. The channel has numerous videos on many real life examples. It is a great channel to learn about concepts not necessarily taught in school. One video that the channel contains is about a super egg, or a superellipse.

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?

  • Watch the video linked below and then post a comment sharing something new you learned about math, geometry and/or engineering.  When posting a comment, use your first name, grade, and school (i.e. Tyler, 5, Sunset).  Do not publish your email.
  • After watching the videos, click on this link and answer the questions.
  • Share this video with your parents, friends, and/or adults and ask them about real life uses of math

Numberphile Video: http://youtu.be/GznQgTdEdI4

*Lesson inspired by Numberphile video about superellipses

11 thoughts on “February 17 Math Minute

  1. This might sound a little bit stupid, but I would just call an ellipse an oval. Today I found out that it is called an ellipse (I think that’s how you spell it.

  2. When using Khan computer programming I played around and made a super ellipse. I didn’t know it’s name or its 3-D version. I never realized how common super ellipses are. That was a interesting video on a strange shape.

  3. I didn’t know the row of metal eggs at my house that stood upright had a mathematical significance and I will now tell my parents about the history behind their form.

  4. I learned that if you make a rectangle to show work if you make a small circle and still have room your wasting space so you have to make a larger circle

  5. I learned that if you make a rectangle and put a circle and one end is kind of thin then you have to restart because there would be traffic at that end

  6. I know that if you have a circle and you change the numbers of the circle then it will get to be more like a square unless it’s at 100 then it is a square. You can do the same thing with an oval but it’s with a rectangle not a square

  7. I used to try to program on Kahn Academy, and I very often used ellipses. But I never knew really what it was. I always thought, “Oh. That’s an oval.” so I typed in “oval”. It never worked. So I watched multiple videos on Kahn, and finally figured out that an oval is an ellipse in programming. But they aren’t used ONLY for programming. To make yourself sound more scientific, even though it’s not science, you can just say ellipse. A Super Ellipse is kind of like a round edged square. Swedish town planners had a rectangle, and they wanted to add a round-a-bout in the middle. A circle wouldn’t work, an ellipse wouldn’t work, so they found a man named Pete Hein. He had this idea of a super ellipse. A Super Ellipse would fill in the space, and still be manageable for drivers. Therefore, the Super Ellipse was born. The equation for a Super Ellipse is (example) x^4+y^4=1. It all depends on the exponents.

  8. It was interesting to find out that someone who started off with plans that would never work, turned those ideas into a great one. It really proves to you that everyone messes up sometimes, and you need to keep trying!

  9. I learned that if you increase the exponent, it turns into kind of a square and that Piet Hein invented it to help Swedish people with a landscape.

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