- Craigslist (in addition to finding potential places, also helpful if you're looking to buy a pile of dirt)
- Padmapper (for seeing where that "prime location" apartment actually is)
- Walk Score (a website that gives an address a score based on its walkability to places people like to go)
Lots of math in here that could (if students were interested) spark great conversation. What did I focus on?
So let's talk algorithms. If you've read anything I've ever written, or if you've ever been stuck in a pedagogy conversation with me (sorry), you know that I strongly believe (more than Cher believes in life after love) that algorithms are a lot more meaningful and powerful when developed by students versus spewed by teachers. I know, when I put it in such neutral terms it seems obvious. Anyway, nothing new there. I've had kids develop their own algorithms for multiplying double-digit numbers, finding fractions between any two fractions, rewriting rationals as Egyptian Fractions, summing infinite geometric series, etc. What I haven't done, though, is expand my definition of algorithm beyond the procedural.
How's this for a project?
- Pick something you care about that you'd like to measure on some scale (like how walking friendly your new digs are). Pick something that doesn't already exist.
- Create a metric/algorithm to score this thing you care about. Other than being able to defend your metric and not end up with radically wonky results, the sky's the limit in how you do this.
Oh, and by the way, the Walk Score of my new place? 100 out of 100. :)