Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow do cell phone towers identify your location? Students describe geometrically the location information provided by a cell phone tower, explain why loci from at least three towers are required to pinpoint a customer's location, and consider the tradeoff between coverage and "locatability" when a phone company chooses a new tower location.

How does the what we see affect our happiness? Students explore the concept of the jen ratio – the ratio of positive to negative observations in our daily lives – and use it to discuss how the content we consume and the things we observe influence our experience of the world.

How symmetrical are faces? Students apply their understanding of line reflections to develop a metric for facial symmetry.

What makes for happy countries? Students interpret lines of best fit and correlation coefficients to determine what types of policy changes are most likely to positively impact a country’s well-being.

Why hasn't everyone already died of a contagion? And, if vampires exist, shouldn't we all be sucking blood by now? Students model the exponential growth of a contagion and use logarithms and finite geometric series to determine the time needed for a disease to infect the entire population. They'll also informally prove that vampires can't be real.

Which movie rental service should you choose? Students develop a system of linear equations to compare Redbox, AppleTV, and Netflix, and determine which is the best plan for them.

How do you create simple video games? Students apply geometric transformations to build (and play) their own games.

How much should Nintendo charge for the Wii U? Students use linear functions to explore demand for the Wii U console and Nintendo's per-unit profit from each sale. They use those functions to create a quadratic model for Nintendo's total profit and determine the profit-maximizing price for the console.

What's an acceptable dating range? Students use linear equations and linear inequalities to examine the May-December romance, and ask whether the *Half Plus Seven* rule of thumb is a good one.

How should grades be calculated? Students use averages and weighted means to examine some different grading schemes and decide what other factors ought to be considered when teachers assign grades.

In basketball, which shot should you take? Students use probability and expected value to determine how much 3-point and 2-point shots are really "worth" to different NBA players.

How do filmmakers create slow-motion and time-lapse videos? Students combine a camera's frame rate, a video player's frame rate, and proportional reasoning to explore movie magic.