Numbers: Zero to Infinity

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Numbers: Zero to Infinity
Mathematics Course
Course CodeNUMR
Year Opened2001
Sites OfferedALE, GIL, HKY, SAN, SPE, WLA
Previously OfferedMSA, NUE, NRS, STP, WIN
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2001):

What does a subatomic particle measured in femtometers have in common with a galaxy measured in light years? Both are a part of the unique human effort to quantify the world around us. Numeric representations of phenomena such as time, distance, temperature, and seismic activity are an essential part of our effort to make the world more understandable.

In this course, students explore numbers using a hands-on approach that develops their mathematical confidence and fluency. Students learn to make accurate estimations, develop computational strategies, appreciate the magnitude of numbers, and judge whether an answer to a problem is reasonable. Additionally, students are better prepared to work with and convert between different scales or systems of measurement.

Activities such as constructing a model atom or solar system to scale strengthen spatial awareness. By developing strategies to approximate the number of blades of grass on a soccer field, students hone their estimation skills. In examining the diversity of units and measurement systems, students learn the origins of some of our most familiar measurements, as well as the unfamiliar. How much would your lunch cost in lira? What does it really mean to be worth your weight in gold? Students invent their own systems and units of measurement as they journey across the infinite applications of numbers.