Small Number and the Basketball Tournament

Speaker: Veselin Jungic, Mark Maclean, Rena Sinclair

Date: Tue, May 1, 2012

Location: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Conference: BIRS First Nations Math Education Workshop

Subject: Mathematics, Combinatorics

Class: Educational


The mathematical context of the third story, Small Number and the Basketball Tournament, contains some basic principles of combinatorics. The plot of the story and the closing question are structured in a manner that allows the moderator to introduce the notion of permutations and combinations. Since the numbers used in the story are relatively small, this can be used to encourage the young audience to explore on their own. Mathematics is also present in the background. Small Number and his friends do mathematics after school in the Aboriginal Friendship Centre. He loves playing the game of Set and when he comes home his sister is just finishing her math homework. Small Number and his friend would like to participate in a big half-court tournament, and so on.

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