Happy Pythagorean Theorem Day!

pythagoras-sketchDid you forget to get a card?  We don’t know if the card store will have something for today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!

Pythagorean Theorem Day or Pythagoras Theorem Day is celebrated when the sum of the squares of the first two digits in a date equals the square of the last digit in the date. In this case: August 15, 2017 (8/15/17 or 15/8/17): 8² + 15² = 17². The next instance of this special day won’t happen until December 16th, 2020…so don’t miss your chance to celebrate today!

So let’s refresh…what is the Pythagorean Theorem?

From Wikipediareal-life-applications-pythagorean-theorem_672e4a5e3a2f7d7 In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem, also known as Pythagoras’s theorem, is a fundamental relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle. It states that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides a, b and c, often called the “Pythagorean equation”:  a2+b2=cwhere c represents the length of the hypotenuse and a and b the lengths of the triangle’s other two sides.

Although it is often argued that knowledge of the theorem predates him, the theorem is named after the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BC) as it is he who, by tradition, is credited with its first recorded proof. There is some evidence that Babylonian mathematicians understood the formula, although little of it indicates an application within a mathematical framework. Mesopotamian, Indian and Chinese mathematicians all discovered the theorem independently and, in some cases, provided proofs for special cases.

The theorem has been given numerous proofs – possibly the most for any mathematical theorem. They are very diverse, including both geometric proofs and algebraic proofs, with some dating back thousands of years. The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher-dimensional spaces, to spaces that are not Euclidean, to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids. The Pythagorean theorem has attracted interest outside mathematics as a symbol of mathematical abstruseness, mystique, or intellectual power; popular references in literature, plays, musicals, songs, stamps and cartoons abound.

So how to celebrate?  Try these ideas:

  • earn more about the Pythagoras Theorem and its real life applications.
  • Celebrate the day by eating foods that are cut in right angle triangles. Make a pizza or bake a cake or cookies in the shape of a right triangle. Or just your PB&J will work too!
  • Since the holiday depends on a unique date pattern, why not spend the day learning about other special date patterns- sequential, repetitive, or palindrome for example?

The Best of the Olympics, told by Twitter

With the Olympics in Rio officially over, we wanted to take a look back at the most memorable tweets referencing the iconic event. From Neil deGrasse Tyson, to Leslie Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, here are the best of the 2016 Summer Olympics told by Twitter.

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These memes perfectly describe teachers going back to school

Well it’s that time of year again, a time where you can no longer lose track of the days and
use the restroom at your leisure. Yep, it’s back to school time. While some of you may have already started back (which is completely unfair, who changed the rule to starting before Labor Day anyways?) the rest of you may only have a couple more weeks before it’s back to the grind of grading papers and attending faculty meetings. To know that you are not alone in this journey, here is some humor to get you through the beginning of the school year.

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Demystifying De-Extinction

Every species becomes extinct eventually. Animals such as the woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon are one of the many species who failed to leave behind descendants that could adapt to their surroundings and carry on their genetic lineage. But what if there was a process that could bring extinct species back to life? Scientists are getting closer to making this a reality thanks to de-extinction. Continue reading “Demystifying De-Extinction” »

What Makes Fireflies Glow?

Pretty soon, when you look outside at night you will notice the intermittent glow of fireflies throughout your backyard. This is one of the sure-tell signs that summer is finally here and while these twinkling bugs can keep us in awe for what seems like hours at a time, there is some serious chemistry happening in their bodies. Continue reading “What Makes Fireflies Glow?” »

Small ways to thank your teacher for an awesome school year

During Teacher Appreciation Week, we compiled a list of some easy yet thoughtful gifts to show teachers just how much we appreciate all of their hard work. Now as the school year is coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to remind teachers just how much they’re valued and that all of their efforts don’t go unnoticed. Here are some small ways to thank your teacher for an awesome school year! Continue reading “Small ways to thank your teacher for an awesome school year” »

Some humor to get you through the end of the school year

I remember having to wait until lunch and the end of school.: It’s (finally) that time of year where school is starting to wind down and hopefully your schedule is filling up with some time for you to enjoy the warm weather! This time of year also makes for some awesome humor that perfectly sums up how everyone is feeling in these final weeks before the summer break you all deserve. We gathered some of the best quotes and memes to help you get through your final days of the school year, and for those of you who are lucky enough to already be done, here’s a good laugh anyways! Continue reading “Some humor to get you through the end of the school year” »

Thermo Fisher employees inspire students to take flight for Innovation at Tech Challenge

More than 80 employees from six of our California sites demonstrated their commitment to
STEM education by volunteering at the 29th Tech Challenge in Silicon Valley. The Tech Challenge  is an annual engineering competition set out to inspire students to combat a certain issue using engineering and design principles. This year’s theme was “Taking Flight” which challenged students to design and build gliders that could deliver supplies to a remote location.
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How Dogs Find Their Way Home Without a GPS

The migration patterns of certain animals have always been a mystery to scientists. Species such as birds and humpback whales demonstrate precision and consistency every time they migrate to a new climate with whales migrating as far as 3,000 miles to the exact same feeding area every year! (I need a GPS to go just 10 miles up the road.) Another animal who demonstrated this impressive feat was a sheepdog from Wales who about a month ago traveled 240 miles to his previous owners home.

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35 Stunning Images of America’s National Parks

As we mentioned in a previous post, the National Park Service is turning 100 years old this August! What better way to celebrate nature’s greatest achievements than with a look at some of the most amazing photos taken of some of our national parks?! Here are our favorite 35 images of America’s national parks.

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