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# Maths Café

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# "Maths clock"

stoofus 11 January 2012 20:23
Posts76
Joined07/07/07
I've seen a few of these "maths clocks" popping up - just type maths clock into Google images to see a number of examples.

Can somebody understand the representation of 5 on this one? I haven't figured it out!
Stuart

(Larger image available at www.getdigital.de/products/Matheuhr/more/pic )
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stoofus 11 January 2012 20:27
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Joined07/07/07
Actually, I think it just clicked! But I'll leave the question open to see if anyone else has suggestions.
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sunicholson 11 January 2012 23:21
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Joined24/09/06
Could it be binary representation? 1010

Is this what you thought?
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Christine_Jones 12 January 2012 08:25
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I think it could be binary. Note that since 5 is 101 in binary the representation is strictly 0101. Perhaps the image is trying to represent the old tick-a-tape, (?), that use to be used with squares cut out to let the light through.
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stoofus 12 January 2012 17:56
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Joined07/07/07
I agree - binary was what I decided. I think my brain didn't like associating black with 1 and white with 0.

I showed the clock image to my further maths students this morning and they enjoyed figuring it out. One of them even managed 3, purely because of an off the cuff remark I made a couple of weeks ago about why 'dx' is written at the end of an integral! I had to explain 1 and 8 though.

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mary_pardoe 12 January 2012 18:42
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Joined29/01/08

How many other patterns can be created by arranging two white squares and two black squares in a row?
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mary_pardoe 12 January 2012 19:11
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Thanks for introducing this thread, Stuart.

Have you seen this Polar Clock - your younger students might like it, and come up with questions to try to answer?
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stoofus 23 January 2012 21:47
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Ah, very nice! I find things like that quite mesmerising. My parents had one of those chinese ball clocks when I was young, which always intrigued me. You are right.. plenty of questions they could ask!
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sathomas 14 June 2012 19:19
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Joined21/09/07
Loved the polar clock.  I went to Malvern Theatre a week ago - and there's a lovely clock there!

http://www.elmley.org.uk/pages/projects_awards.asp
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