PUMAS (poo' • mas) -- is a collection of brief examples showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including every day life.
The examples are written primarily by scientists, engineers, and other content experts having practical experience with the material. They are aimed mainly at classroom teachers, and are available to all interested parties via the PUMAS web site.
Our goal is to capture, for the benefit of pre-college education, the flavor of the vast experience that working scientists have with interesting and practical uses of math and science.
- Ralph Kahn
Pumas Editor and Founder
Learning from Slide Rules by Martin P. Cohen
In the days before calculators and personal computers an engineer always had a slide rule nearby. These days it is difficult to locate a slide rule outside of a museum. I don't know how many of those who have used a slide rule ever thought of it as an analog computer, but that is really what it is. As such, the slide rule can be used to teach the modern view of the relationship between nature and mathematics and about the formalization of this concept known as isomorphism, which is one of the most pervasive and important concepts in mathematics. In order to introduce the concepts that will be used, we will start with the simplest type of slide rule – one that is made up of two ordinary rulers.
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.