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Andrius's letter to Stephen Wolfram

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Greetings from the One Laptop Per Child conference in Boston where I am with Edward Cherlin of Earth Treasury http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/ I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2009
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      Greetings from the One Laptop Per Child conference in Boston where I am
      with Edward Cherlin of Earth Treasury
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/
      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?
      http://www.ms.lt
      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
      step-by-step.)
      * 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:
      http://www.worknets.org/upload/AndriusKulikauskas/precalculus.pdf
      My Bosnian students started a math encyclopedia of "amounts and units" as
      I described last summer:
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?MathEncyclopedia

      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:
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?ANewKindOfCulture

      Afterwards, I wrote a smaller proposal ($12,000) where I might focus on an
      exhaustive study of the transition diagrams of cellular automata
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?CellularAutomata
      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?

      Andrius

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      http://www.ms.lt
      ms@...
      skype: minciusodas

      P.S. I share my letter with Minciu Sodas groups Living By Truth, Global
      Villages, Learning From Each Other, Earth Treasury.
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