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Get the Math!

Get the Math 2.0

What do fashion designers, rock stars, and restaurant owners have in common?

They all apply algebra in their work!

Get the Math, from American Public Television’s WNET Channel 13, seeks to help middle and high school students develop algebraic thinking and problem-solving skills through reality-TV-style videos and challenges that illuminate such real-world math.

Video segments and interactive challenges focus on the math in:

  • Music: Manny Dominguez and Luis Lopez, who perform as the hip-hop duo DobleFlo, write and produce music in collaboration with The Brooklyn Label, an independent record company. They draw on their math skills regularly, particularly when using music production software.
  • Fashion: Chloe Dao, a Texas-based fashion designer and the season two winner of Project Runway, uses math on a day-to-day basis. She asks students to use both algebra and their sense of style to modify a design in order to get the retail price below a target of $35.
  • Videogames: Julia Detar, a videogame developer at the New York City-based company Arkadium, uses math when she develops online and Facebook games. Julia presents a challenge around a simplified “Asteroids”-type game that introduces basic concepts behind programming.
  • Restaurants: Sue Torres, chef/owner of the restaurant Sueños, talks about the challenge of keeping prices on her menu affordable as prices rice.  The teams analyze past avocado prices to predict prices for the next 14 months, and use this prediction to recommend a menu price for guacamole for the coming year.
  • Basketball: NBA player Elton Brand describes his path to a career in the NBA before posing a challenge related to free throw shooting.
  • Special Effects: Jeremy Chernick from J&M Special Effects discusses the process of creating special effects for film and video, including one effect created for a music video by the band Freelance Whales.  The teams are challenged to figure out the mathematical relationship between two important variables that affect the look of a shot – light intensity and distance from the light source.

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