Math Is More Than Just Algebra

I alluded in a couple of earlier posts, here and here, to the fact that our high school mathematics curriculum is in a rut focusing mostly on basic algebra and that many algebra skills will only be useful in calculus and the physical sciences.  I also mentioned that there are plenty of cool topics in mathematics that are not algebra based.

Recently I ran across the project below that explores the concept of minimal spanning trees.  I constructed it as part of an assignment for a weekend class at Chico State University that I took many years ago.  At minimum it can be treated  as just an exercise in addition.  I like it because it exposes students to a non-computational algorithm and easy but clever proof.

Minimal Spanning Tree Exercise


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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