Monday, November 14, 2011

Theme for the Day: Fractals

Remember my earlier post on fractals?   Well, I'm truly hopeless at this point, so I need to share my obsession.

So what are fractals anyway?
Wiki says:  a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity.
Well (for the non math people like me) that basically that means layers of repeated shapes that can be calculated by a formula.  But you don't need a formula to enjoy them.  Check these out:

Ready to make your own?  Try these cool (free!) online generators:
  • "Snowflake" style - design your fractal with five straight lines
  • Cool Math has five
  • Easy Fractal Generator lets you draw a Julia or Mandelbrot set (or a custom one if you are mathematically inclined) and lets you export your finished work to a file for printing.  Nice.
  • This generator is similar to the snowflake one above but lets you overlap fractals and export the finished work
  • Sierpinski Triangle
Hands on and fun links for the younger kids:

For the older kids and the lesson planners:

  • A caltech worksheet for the Sierpenski Triangle. Notice! This is a word doc that will want to immediately download.
  • A PDF worksheet on fractal math from, advanced HighSchool+
  • A PDF worksheet from Randoff College for grades 5-8
  • Open Source software to download. Note: I have not trialed, so use at your own risk.
  • A trial copy of (not-free) fractal software. Note:  I have not trialed, so use at your own risk.

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