Andrius's letter to Stephen Wolfram
- Greetings from the One Laptop Per Child conference in Boston where I am
with Edward Cherlin of Earth Treasury
I share my letter to Stephen Wolfram. He lives in the area. Andrius
Dear Stephen Wolfram,
Thank you again for the NKS Summer School 2008.
Please, may I meet with somebody from Wolfram Science to discuss how I and
my Minciu Sodas laboratory might work for you?
I'm currently in Boston until Wednesday, January 21.
These next few months I will be developing open source materials "Classic
Math Problems" for self-learners of algebra, including parents who home
school their children. I will teach math in terms of deep ideas behind
memorable problems, such as:
* Standard Pants sells pants for $90. Fashion Pants sells them for
one-third more, but now has a sale where they are one-third off. Where
should you buy your pants? Many people mistakenly think the price will be
the same. The answer 2/3 * 4/3 * x is evident when we think
step-by-step. (I teach that Algebra is the study of thinking
* A right triangle is half of a rectangle - this is the basis for
trigonometry, where the shape is given by the ratio of any two sides, or
by the angle, and so we can map between them.
* Four times a right triangle is the difference of two squares - this is a
natural way to derive the Pythagorean theorem, but also the relationship
between two coordinate systems.
I have already written course notes from which I taught at UCSD and most
recently this last semester in Bosnia:
My Bosnian students started a math encyclopedia of "amounts and units" as
I described last summer:
I would love to link each idea with exercises that could be done with
Mathematica and with your web tools. I envisage a set of fifty or so
self-standing problems/ideas that one might master to learn algebra. I
imagine they might form a "pattern language".
Might I develop my materials so they are relevant for you and you might
provide some funding?
I have come to Boston to attend the One Laptop Per Child conference
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XOcamp2 encouraged by Edward Cherlin, who is
organizing the creation of open source textbooks. You might send a
person! (It's free.)
Certainly, I and my lab could organize a global team for creating
inspiring math learning materials. And we could certainly include New
Kind of Science ideas and problems. Last summer I wrote you a proposal:
Afterwards, I wrote a smaller proposal ($12,000) where I might focus on an
exhaustive study of the transition diagrams of cellular automata
This would be great work to prepare in advance of your summer school.
I hope you might encourage me to work with Wolfram Science!
Who might I meet with?
P.S. I share my letter with Minciu Sodas groups Living By Truth, Global
Villages, Learning From Each Other, Earth Treasury.