Blog

A sock came back from "the other side"

 

 

I had four pairs of compression socks per my doctor's suggestion so that circulation in my legs would be better. They are not cheap, but do they make me more comfortable as they keep down the swelling. Several months ago one of the socks went over to "the other side."  You know, it did not come out of the dryer or was it the washer. Well today the sock came back and I now have four complete sets. My wife contends I had five pair and now the other half of the pair has gone over to "the other side" leaving me only with four pair. But I KNOW, trust me on this, that I only had four pair, that one disappeared for a few months, and just now decided to come back to be with us on "this side" of, well of whatever.

I got to thinking how many things in our lives we might be losing they way a sock just wanders off. Certainly, as teachers of mathematics, there are creative ideas, especially just as we doze off at night and we know we should get up and jot them down, who disappear because we cannot remember them in the morning. Or if your handwriting, especially at 2 AM in the morning, is like mine you can't read it even if you wrote it down!!

Well this is the way with mathematical kernels, ideas for teaching materials or in the case of SIMIODE, ideas for Modeling Scenarios. Years ago when working with my college LTC Keith Landry at West Point we taught Engineering Mathematics together. We fooled around with a number of ideas and one of them was a pendulum hooked to a spring in the manner shown below.

                                                               

In searching for something else in my obscenely disorganized directory system in Windows 7 I stumble upon this material and have enjoyed playing with it from several points of view, review of physical principles, drawing Free Bod Diagrams, revisiting Newton's Second Law for angular acceleration, and trying to incorporate friction in the pendulum.

We posted the animation we created at SIMIODE at Twitter and now I am working up a Modeling Scenario for SIMIODE consideration.

So check out your "other side"material, look at stuff you stored in filing cabinets years ago, put in some directory and forgot about,  all perhaps because you had not the time, it was not working out and you just had to put it down, or something better came along. Now go back and bring the ides from "the other side" and play with them. Your mind just might be ready for play with the idea this time around.

I was and am with regard to this idea from the past that Keith and I worked on and I can do it comfortably in my refound (from the "other side") compression sock. What's in your "washing machine/dryer?"

Comments on this entry

There are no comments at this time.

Post a comment

You must log in to post comments.

Please keep comments relevant to this entry. Comments deemed offensive or inappropriate may be removed.