Author: Kelly

Videos- Kelly Toth

Part 1:

Video 1- How many kinds of infinity are there?

ViHart discusses the many types of infinity, such as Countable Infinity and Alpha Null. She also describes the “flavors” of each infinity and how they can relate to real world examples.

Video 2: A Song About a Circle Constant

In this video she creates a catchy, or possibly annoying, tune about “Tau”.  While the song describes the numerical value of tau, 6.2831…, she also, rather ingeniously, took the individual numbers of Tau’s value and equated them to notes on a musical scale.

Video 3- Pi is (Still) Wrong

ViHart continues in yet another video to rage against Pi. She believes that using Pi is inferior to using Tau. She has confidence that mathematics should be simple and elegant as possible. Pi, versus Tau, is less efficient and less graceful.

Parts 2 & 3:

Video- Optimal Potatoes

This video is a hilarious and practical look at the mathematics, geometry, of Thanksgiving Dinner. Vihart brilliantly breaks down the mathematical relationship of mashed potatoes moats and the amount of gravy said mashed potatoes can hold. This clever application of mathematics to a seemingly random subject, Thanksgiving Dinner, is precisely the type of innovative teaching strategy that needs to be used to be able to draw a student into the beauty of math.

Vihart has packed this video with little tidbits of math. For instance, I did not know that any two-dimensional shape, when inflated, will turn into a circle.  Vihart’s strategy of explaining subjects such as this in nontraditional ways is the essence of teaching. By using both music and the internet she could create a learning technique that is both relevant and engaging. This sort of adaptability is one of the cores of a good teaching philosophy.

I do question if such techniques would be practical in a classroom environment. While the videos are wonderful I would like to know if, and how, she translates this style of teaching to an actual classroom setting. Obviously, she could not cook dinner in classroom, so how does she create comparable examples?



  1. Sometimes people can recognize a time when their opinion of math dramatically changed either for the better or the worse. If such a time happened to you, tell us about it.

While I always had respect for the maths and the sciences it was not until recently that my opinions of math change. I have slowly begun to see the true value of math.  As I researched what  academics I wanted to teach I discovered some startling facts about the state of mathematics education in the US.  For example, in 2015 the US rated  35th out of 71 developed countries in math literacy. This is simply unacceptable. In today’s global economy jobs which require higher levels of math competencies, such as computer programming, are becoming more prominent. These sorts of jobs are replacing the manufacturing jobs that once were prevalent in this country. The transition away from a manufacturing society has increased the value of a math education. Unfortunately, as the US falls behind, globally,  in math education, we also start losing the ability to prosper, as a nation, in high demand fields. This realization served to highlight the importance of a math education to me.

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