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## The platonic solids

July 18, 2014

I managed to record this week’s Slate Money podcast early so I could drive up to HCSSiM for July 17th, and the Yellow Pig Day celebration. I missed the 17 talk but made it in time for yellow pig carols and cake.

This morning my buddy Aaron decided to let me talk to the kids in the last day of his workshop. First Amber is working out the formula for the Euler Characteristic of a planar graph with the kids and after that I’ll help them count the platonic solids using stereographic projection. If we have time we’ll talk about duals (update: we had time!).

I can never remember which one is the icosahedron.

Tonight at Prime Time I’ll play a game or two of Nim with them.

Categories: math, math education
1. July 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Have you looked at John Baez’s blog? He’s got all sorts of neat stuff about polytopes (I started in part twelve so you can easily click back to the earlier postings) and alternative projections Schlegel diagrams. There’s also the excellent series Dimensions on youtube. The projection technique for three-dimensional polytopes starts in chapter two and extended to four dimensions in chapter four. Hopefully I html’d all the links correctly; I don’t know how to preview postings here.

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2. July 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm

To remember the icosahedron, get a set of polydrons and use them to build it. I find it is one of the most satisfying shapes to construct with those bricks. Perhaps partly because of too much time with 20-sided dice in my youth? I also really like the way 5 equilateral triangles can create a regular pentagon.

Also, thanks for including the link to your Nim talk. While I now see it has been lurking over under your Top Posts & Pages for some time (T), I have managed to skip over it for
min(T, (how long I’ve been reading your blog)).

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