Synopses & Reviews
This second volume of strategic classroom activities is designed to develop, through a hands-on approach, a basic mathematical understanding and appreciation of fractals. The concepts presented on fractals include self-similarity, the chaos game, and complexity as it relates to fractal dimension. These strategic activities have been developed from a sound instructional base, stressing the connections to the contemporary curriculum as recommended in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. Where appropriate, the activities take advantage of the technological power of the graphics calculator. These activities make excellent extensions to many of the topics that are already taught in the current curriculum. Together, they can be used as a complete unit or as the beginning for a semester course on fractals. The slide package that accompanies this first volume includes some of the highest quality fractal images available anywhere. Students and educators alike will find these materials most stimulating.
Synopsis
The same factors that motivated the writing of our first volume of strategic activities on fractals continued to encourage the assembly of additional activities for this second volume. Fractals provide a setting wherein students can enjoy hands-on experiences that involve important mathematical content connected to a wide range of physical and social phenomena. The striking graphic images, unexpected geometric properties, and fascinating numerical processes offer unparalleled opportunity for enthusiastic student inquiry. Students sense the vigor present in the growing and highly integrative discipline of fractal geom- etry as they are introduced to mathematical developments that have occurred during the last half of the twentieth century. Few branches of mathematics and computer science offer such a contem- porary portrayal of the wonderment available in careful analysis, in the amazing dialogue between numeric and geometric processes, and in the energetic interaction between mathematics and other disciplines. Fractals continue to supply an uncommon setting for animated teaching and learn- ing activities that focus upon fundamental mathematical concepts, connections, problem-solving techniques, and many other major topics of elementary and advanced mathematics. It remains our hope that, through this second volume of strategic activities, readers will find their enjoyment of mathematics heightened and their appreciation for the dynamics of the world in- creased. We want experiences with fractals to enliven curiosity and to stretch the imagination.