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Get a grip on mathematical symbolism with Loughborough University

Here’s yet another intro to mathematical thinking MOOC. Loughborough University, and in particular Professor Tony Croft, is offering a course called “Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism” through the FutureLearn platform. It starts on the 28th of April.

There isn’t much information about the course online yet, apart from the brief description on the official website and this AV-services-tastic trailer:

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Since everything to do with popular maths has to pun (see also: literally any other page on this site), I can only assume that the course will end with the construction of a robotic hand or high-friction surface.

Tony Croft has a good pedigree with online learning resources: for many years he’s been in charge of maths support at Loughborough, including the invaluable mathcentre support site.

More information

Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism at FutureLearn

‘Low barrier, high ceiling’ and the Maths Arcade

I’ve been catching up with the TES Maths Podcast. I just listened to episode 7, towards the end of which guest Brian Arnold shares ‘the Frogs puzzle’. You probably know this, but if not Brian points to the NRICH interactive version which explains:

Imagine two red frogs and two blue frogs sitting on lily pads, with a spare lily pad in between them. Frogs can slide onto adjacent lily pads or jump over a frog; frogs can’t jump over more than one frog. Can we swap the red frogs with the blue frogs?

You know the one? You can play it with coins or counters or people. Anyway, host Craig Barton refers to this as “low barrier, high ceiling”, in that

anyone can do a few moves. So there’s your low barrier, but you can take that, the maths that that goes into! You can extend it to different numbers on either side, everything’s in there.

Much as I dislike the term because it sounds jargony, I realise it describes something I’ve been explaining all week.