Essay Draft #1

Here are some things explained in class on Wednesday, December 14:

  • You will be writing two essays in ToK this year
  • You will need to choose from the six titles for this year
  • Both essays will be submitted to turnitin.com
    • A complete draft of your first essay will be due by Friday, December 16.  It will be a thorough draft (but not perfect).
  • You should consider the ideas shared in the 2016 subject report for ToK.  Of particular interest are the assessor’s comments based on each of the six prompts from the 2016 ToK essay titles.  Please remember, the subject report is written based on LAST YEAR’s titles.  Your titles for this year (May 2017) are different.

Be sure to do the following before Thursday’s class:

  1. Select a title from one of the six available.
  2.  Identify (write down) the key terms in the title.  Explain why they are essential to address.
  3. Consider what questions must be addressed in a well-developed essay based on this title.
  4. Determine the best sequence for your questions listed in #3 above.  What order makes most sense developmentally?  Answers to these questions (will likely be developed into Body Theses) are “stepping stones” in the development of your essay.
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Thursday, we are looking at applied Fractal Geometry…

Please do take notes on the ideas introduced by the video.  You should assume – as with the article – that this content will be assessed at a later date.

Thursday’s class will include a viewing of this video that takes the introduction of the Mandlebrot Set (and Fractal Geometry) and shows them in the context of their modern-day application in many fields.  Don’t forget to take notes!

Pre – ToK makeup

Pre-ToK makeup assignment: Time

Read the article linked here – it introduces the idea that the words we use to describe something imply an understanding not just of that thing, but of the way we view the world.  Once you’ve read the article, you should also consider how we use language as a ‘Way of Knowing’ to understand this world.  The diagram implies that to understand anything we often filter our experience through these ways of knowing – including language – and work this knowledge into our understanding.

Considering the role language plays in implying what Time is, we discussed the multiple ways that the definition of Time changes when we change the words for it.  With this in mind, we read an entry in Einstein’s Dreams to set us up with an example – and then we crafted our own version of a story where time was fundamentally different from what we know.

Since we missed you, your assignment is as follows:

  1. Read the article about the role of metaphor.
  2. Consider the implications for what you think. What do you think time is?
  3. Write a list of 10 phrases with the word Time in them… how are these definitions different understandings?
    1. Group the 10 phrases by those with similar metaphorical understandings of what time is
  4. Read the prologue of Einstein’s Dreams and then choose at least four entries to read (and write about).
    1. For each entry that you read, list the date it occurs on (this is the chapter ‘title’) and your thoughts about the entry. Be sure to list how Time is fundamentally different in this dream world.
  5. Then, write your own entry about one person (you?) who is living in a world where time is different (from the entries you read and from our current world). Send me your answers to #2, 3, 4, and 5.  Please know that I will share/publish your story to others (so make it good!).  It does not have to be long.  Use any of the entries in Einstein’s Dreams as models for length.

This is due before break.  Email your assignments to both Ms. Lund and to Mr. Braman.

As we dive deeper into math…

We will be reading this article during class on Tuesday, December 6th.  Please be sure to critically read it and (if you’d like) take notes on the content.  You should assume this content will be on the Semester final if not on a unit test.

During the second half of class, we will be watching this video from Youtube introducing Fractal Geometry.  While the article does introduce many of the central components, the video does a great job introducing iteration as a mathematical concept.  Please do take notes on the ideas introduced by the video.  You should assume – as with the article – that this content will be assessed at a later date.

Thursday’s class will include a viewing of this video that takes the introduction of the Mandlebrot Set (and Fractal Geometry) and shows them in the context of their modern-day application in many fields.  Don’t forget to take notes!

Our Mathematical exploration

for Thursday, December 1st, we are finishing up the Structured Academic Controversy.  As we shared out our views and considered the way(s) to present our common argument, we created a visual representation to supplement the thesis we agreed upon.  These were turned in during class.

From there, we moved on to a little game called the Tower of Hanoi.  Here’s the backstory (from the Math forum):

According to the legend of the Tower of Hanoi (originally the “Tower of Brahma” in a temple in the Indian city of Benares), the temple priests are to transfer a tower consisting of 64 fragile disks of gold from one part of the temple to another, one disk at a time. The disks are arranged in order, no two of them the same size, with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top. Because of their fragility, a larger disk may never be placed on a smaller one, and there is only one intermediate location where disks can be temporarily placed. It is said that before the priests complete their task the temple will crumble into dust and the world will vanish in a clap of thunder.Does this make mathematical sense?

The game can be found here.  Try your luck and see if you can figure out a way to describe your strategy.  Write your mathematical explanation for the best series of moves into your notes.  [This is due when you arrive at class on Friday, December 2nd.]

Once you’re done figuring out the strategy, chart out your solutions mathematically.  Give it a shot – talk with others, if you must, but finish your explanation before moving on.

Once you’re ready to move on, here is some reading – chapter one from a book by mathematician Ian Stewart Another Fine Math You’ve Got Me Into…   Start at page one of the chapter titled “The Lion, the Lama, and the Lettuce”.  If you’d like to look at a different mathematical discussion about the tower problem, consider this one from the Math forum.