Science and Mathematics are in a complementary relationship. Any developmental progress on one side will influence the other side, it is a beneficial relationship to positively stimulate the development of both science and mathematics. On 22 & 23 Jan, we invited a Professor Vladimir Dubrovsky from Moscow State University to deliver a workshop titled "Teachers and Students: Math Modeling in Science". He introduced and demonstrated different problems by using a mathematical software called "MathKit". The venue is provided by the Department of Mathematics, The University of Hong Kong.
Prof. Dubrovsky has solid experience in both teaching students and in-service teachers. He is an editor of a popular mathematics and physics magazine "Kvant" and its sister-magazine in America, "Quantum Magazine". He has been a judge in mathematics competitions and developed many materials in mathematical education (included MathKit). He was awarded different honors because of his contribution in education.
The contents of the 2-day workshop were abundant; it covered several topics including Tourist Bus Problem - the relationship between stopping position of a tourist bus and the view from the bus, Mechanical Structure - Linkage, Chebyshev’s Plantigrade Machine, Probability - Buffon's Needle Problem, Electromagnetic Field Lines, The Orbits of Solar System, etc.
As computer software is good at image creating and simulation, Prof. Dubrovsky used a popular mathematical software in Russia, "MathKit" as an assistant to show the possibilities of every problems, or what would happen under extreme situations.
Teachers and students downloaded "MathKit" before they attended the workshop so they can learn how to use the software under the instruction from the Professor. It was a great chance for them to experience the applications of a math software in learning.
Professor introduced the Kolmogorov School of Moscow State University and related math activities. He also mentioned the math problems in real life.
One of the problems discussed in the workshop is called Buffon's Needle Problem. When you throw a needle (or any shred things) onto a plane with equal distance parallel lines (a piece of paper or floor), and then record the frequency of intersection of the needle and the lines. Interestingly, by making a small change to the math expression, we can estimate the value of pi. When the number of throwing is higher, we can get a more accurate value of pi.
Besides, the simulation of the road traffic, or the spouse-selecting strategies were illustrated.
Finally, we give a big thanks to Prof. Vladimir Dubrovsky for the great workshop, and we thank for the teachers and students who attended to the workshop and the co-organizer, Department of Mathematics, The University of Hong Kong.