1. Writing

The first requirement to start a project is creating a written statement describing what will be done. The statement should convey the general idea. It should be as comprehensible to a person able to read as any high quality newspaper article. No jargon should appear. The reader shouldn't need to know any technical background to understand the general purpose of the project. The result of a process involving review and rewriting of individuals' items of this sort is called a project statement.

One person may have an idea that would involve significant activity. His/her written description of the concept becomes the first version of what others may agree to work on. Agreement of participants on a common project statement and a supervisor approving that written text formally begins a project.

The written statement describing the project comes out of an iterative writing process that incorporates suggestions and ideas from all participants. It also acts as a way for the larger group to get to know the interests and qualities of their peers. The final product has positive value for the project: in the future all will have a record to refer to that describes their common vision.

1.1 Developing Writing Skills

Regular reading is the basic step to learning how to write better. When reading well-written material something "sticks." One begins to mimic the patterns; for example, one learns to use the semi-colon. More generally, reading activity inevitably leads to absorbing what it means to have "good form." Beginning this process can be essentially recreational.

One way to begin is to reserve fifteen minutes a day to read something that interests you. It could be daily using a national newspaper. That could, for instance, involve seeking out technical or computer-related articles. Self-improvement books (how to start a business, material on a programming language) or motivational/inspirational texts can also assist. Any book or article selected on the basis of personal interest allows topic flexibility. Free selection helps start students on the key purpose of both reading and writing: communicating with one another.

1.2 Communication

Achievement is correlated with good ability to work with others. In concise terms, leaders are individuals with strong people skills, a concept that involves many forms of communicating. As Tom Landry put it, "Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do in order to achieve what they want to achieve." Telling people about something is one means to lead. Another involves showing them what you have in mind.

While telling involves speaking showing has to do with action or images. Both speaking and showing could be extemporaneous but preparation helps make them more effective. In the case of a talk a written version is very helpful. An outline that uses key words, not sentences, could also serve the same function as written talk text.

All of these communication situations grow from personal trust. As individuals get to know one another they move from protectors of their ideas to participants in dialogs that move them into becoming new realities.

1.3 Targets

The first rule is know your audience and direct the material to their needs. This is true whether it's yourself, some colleague, a supervisor, or some potential customer or investor. Often documenting what you have done, read, or thought has significant future benefit. Begin now to build the habit of writing. It will serve you well over your career. In this material you will be asked to respond ... about items read in writing, react ... express how something impacts you, or summarize ... create a concise record for future use. Two subjects: business and mathematics will be the basis for reading and writing activities started here.

Both business and mathematics may seem far outside the computer science domain. Robert G. Neumann "1. When in doubt, choose the road of courage. The dynamics of action will carry others with you and confound your opponents. "2. While action must be carefully considered, it is generally better to act than not to act. It is easier to correct the course of action than to move from inaction to action. "3. Dream big and without restraint. There will always be time afterwards to reduce the scope of your action in the light of confining realities. But if you start dreaming small, you shackle your imagination from the outset. "4. Have some reasonable and constant ideas as to what you will not put up with and examine your conscience from time to time to check the possible corrosion success might have wrought. It might keep you honest, or at least humble."

Reports are technical communication devices. They serve as tools that convey work accomplished or proposed. The first thing to do in preparing a report is to assess who will be the reader and what that individual can be expected to know already. That recommendation applies whether you are composing an electronic mail message to a project team member, preparing a report to a supervisor at a workplace, or planning the details of your future business activities for potential investors. Decide who the audience is before beginning your writing. This simple principle has only these exceptions: it need not be done when you are generating ideas for yourself, brainstorming with others, or keeping records on your inventions, designs, or programs for future uses.

Network computer technology leads to a vast increase in the potential audience for written work. Most of the subsequent items apply also to the world wide web (WWW or simply web) of networked computers. When material is posted to a web site it becomes accessible by so many people that the model shifts from a solitary typical reader to something closer to mass advertising. Still the strong words italicized in the first paragraph apply, they simply need modification to keep in mind that there can be primary and secondary audiences. Furthermore the capability for including sound, image, and movie files in web documents takes the word writing to a different plane. In effect the author of a web document must consider modes of user interaction, planning visuals, use of graphics, inclusion of moving images, and addition of sound, as fundamental activities. To limit the range of activities we start with the simple steps involving varying ordinary written material. Those steps usually consist of adding images, e.g., drawings or photographs, to written text .

Speaking is a useful part of writing. It is a more dynamic communication medium since it supports two-way interaction. As a process speaking supports idea development and clarification. This is unlike writing, where the understanding burden falls on the reader once the author's task is done. If one considers conversation, or the effective conveying of subtle distinctions, emotion, or nuances, it is obvious that speech is able to be more versatile. Hence written communication can be increasingly effective if a report is augmented by a talk. Speech is a multidimensional medium, but a report can take on some of its good qualities by using images.

Writing as an activity within a project process has another key characteristic. It is an aide to furthering the work. Speech can do this as well - and it can be instrumental in assisting in the development of a written report. Talking informally about the project with group partners sharing goals, and more formal presentations before an audience of others involved in such work, are both valuable. Talks can trigger thoughts that change the work. Comments, questions, and the process of entering into a dialog with interested observers all benefit the work process.

This chapter sets forth suggestions to make projects work. The fundamental issue is stimulating interaction about the tasks and goals. In other words, people are the key element in project success.

Working with others requires developing skills. Many of these are in writing and speaking.

The following is designed to lead to increased familiarity, comfort, and ease with writing and speaking. It acknowledges that they are things that are often feared. Yet it leads to step-by-step, proven methods to build skill and confidence in written exposition, formal report-writing, and speaking, particularly in the area of computer design projects. The subsequent sections include material on students' use of computer tools in talk/report preparation and on technical conventions.

1.a Figures, Graphs and Diagrams.

Writing begins with having something to say and showing aspects of your ideas is an excellent way to start. Creating illustrations or visuals is a form of writing. We'll use the short expression visual exposition to describe making an image to either be in a report or a useful element in giving a talk. There are three kinds of visuals in this section title. All are examples of things you've seen described mainly pictorially but usually with a judicious selection of key words.

The word figure is used as a general description of any visual. While figures often contain a pictorial object, that isn't necessary. The main part of composing an effective figure involves captions or other effective writing: a use of words in combination with images . The two other terms, graphs, and diagrams, refer to technically-oriented figures. Examples of graphs are the familiar sine/cosine curves, parabolas, and other objects plotted on Cartesian coordinates. Diagrams can be schematic, which usually means they rely on conventions such as stylized symbolic abbreviations. Examples include: architectural/surveying plan-drawings; electric circuit representations; and flowcharts with blocks describing steps to execute.

Figure is also used to mean any single page word representation of ideas beyond the constraints of writing in sentences and paragraphs. Many computer word processing programs enable easy conversion of an outline into visual form, e.g., bullet-chart format where phrases are preceded by a large dot. Many talks use that kind of visual and the principle that people better-understand what they see as well as hear.

Creating a figure is a way to begin a talk or a report. Initially it can be a hand-drawing, even a sketch, or a list or ideas. Once either is combined with a title you have a first draft of a figure. Another way to begin is to choose one or several printed or electronically-available computer clip-art images and arrange them together, showing something about their implications by lines, boxes, titles and subtitles. The idea is that visual things are memorable. A combination of visual items from several sources can convey more than any individual thing alone. The author of the figure that combines them can make an effective image that is easily-remembered and has impact. Time spent thinking about selecting, arranging, combining and titling is usually very worthwhile.

Computer networks make figures potentially part of movie or multimedia files. Hence it is useful to look at a figure as potentially part of three purposes. A figure may begin as a presentation item. There it takes on the role of a prop, something that a person talks about. Improvements/adjustments may be made to a figure from its use in presentations. They can be based on comments and impressions of the listeners' reactions. The original version can be varied/improved for a written report. There a figure needs to stand on its own. It also can become the starting point of written text by using the stock phrase, Figure _ shows. In its third form a figure is an element in a user-chosen sequence, where its text components can be pointers (see Chapter 14) to subsequent images.

To sum up, usually two kinds of work lead to a useful figure. First, finding an appropriate spatial layout for the elements. Second, apt captioning: combining figure elements with short descriptive words to give the images more punch.

1.b Planning a Paper

Creating a technical paper is in the interests of all involved in a project. A paper is a useful tool to project participants because it: 1) permits a reader to approach the subject on his/her own time schedule; 2) enables review of the work by other individuals than those known to the team members; and, 3) supports excerpting, selection and comment on portions of the effort. A paper or project report is thus a vehicle that can be part of influencing others. An example of the paper's use may be to solicit financing to lead to product development.

Planning in new areas is actually a recurring activity. People working together to accomplish an objective frequently revise their ultimate target as they become more familiar with technical capabilities and limitations. We can highlight this to be able to refer to it in the future via the phrase: re-planning, revising, and reorganizing are all part of the work process. In a like manner, many times inventions and innovations involve serendipity. An initial plan is a project outline that describes tasks to be done and accomplishments: things to be developed and ultimately reported on.

Outlines are tools: note the importance of the letter making the first word into a plural. Few people think through an overall task completely in advance. A revision in the initial approach requires revising the outline that is a working guide to the effort. While it may be possible in some projects to carefully plan all aspects, most of the time there is increasing detail and knowledge as the effort continues. Thus subsequent outlines are usually refinements of the starting version. Even if the initial outline is flawless, a final product should have more levels, and they should convey real content. To get to a complete outline description of an effort or a report there may be many intermediate steps. Figures and talks based on corresponding visuals usually are very helpful in accomplishing things of significance. Actual project progress takes place when the design participants: 1) propose targets - tasks to accomplish; 2) regularly explain what they've done toward the goal to others; and 3) create means for the explanations to take place efficiently - e.g., compose effective figures. These things contribute to success in moving a project from an initial idea to a finished paper or technical report.

One way to begin writing a paper bootstraps first ideas into text by describing the contents and purposes of the initial figures. Whether they are pictorial or outline-like, they very likely began as materials for making a presentation. The method writes down the actual things you plan to say on separate pages. Each text page is about one of the items to be shown while speaking. While this is a way to generate a report without starting from an overall outline, it also is a useful method for planning a technical talk.

The combination of the written text describing the figures and the visual items themselves, is both the core of a talk, and a way to start writing a first draft of the technical report.. Second drafts usually come from the things one learns from actually dealing with questions and comments while giving the talk ... or even from preparing to give it. Since practice is the best way to prepare, many speakers work the talk through in front of a mirror or ask a friend to be a sounding board. The speaker's own-analysis of what worked and what didn't leads to changes.

When using the initial steps, i.e., the starting figures and outlines, to start the writing process, the words can be written on separate pages each associated with a figure. The combination can be printed so that the figures are on the right of an open report and text describing them on the also open left page. This enables glancing from the text to the corresponding figure, something often called facing-page exposition.

In summary, the basic methods are begin with an outline and first compose items to show. Either a draft outline or a first cut at a visual can be rough at first. Those starting steps are followed by planning and writing parts of a talk. Revision of the initial materials takes place using insight gained from giving the talk to a real or imaginary group. A series of revisions and refinements leads to more written text and often to new approaches to the topic as the initial notions are tested, revised and improved or discarded.

1.c Steps and Stumbles

A decision to start a project has many unforeseen consequences. For example, it is a commitment to oneself: whether it is kept or not contributes to future well-being. Hence the saying: "It's the first step that counts." A single word that characterizes a first step is trying. Of course that word also implies that the desired result may not occur immediately. Yet perseverance can bring people to their ultimate goal. Success from continued trying requires learning from activities, mistakes, or from other people. Work to bring about anything new involves three things. Something has to be done. Along the way almost certainly imperfections will be found. Individuals besides the designer must value the effort if it is to lead to a product.

This book portrays a model of generating a product that involves a group of interested individuals coming together. If the reader is not in such a situation currently, but is beginning alone, developing a project idea should be oriented to reaching outward. That will lead to acquiring something like backers or allies with multiple-interests and skills. Just as any commercial product comes about through the work of many kinds of specialists, a succession of steps leads project-design participants to take on different roles as the work evolves. For instance, even when a technical innovator starts an activity, involvement of specialists in finance, marketing, management, engineering, and law may be needed to bring it to fruition. In the same way, a group that is formed needs to have someone plan the budget, manage the tasks, and verify that the work can result in ownership rights.

Members of a group of people all trying to create a design project can individually give informal talks on their idea, goal, or area of interest. There are two purposes of this initial step. Each of us benefits by becoming more skillful at speaking about technical work. Everyone finds more to do than can be accomplished rapidly by one person. Forming alliances or gaining partners moves one toward a goal. The activity of talking is one part of the project process. Giving talks supports the project initially by getting people to decide to work together, and when things are under way, by showing the participants what has been done. Final documents with fewer mistakes result from the speakers' review of their notes, or composed visuals. Frequently items prepared for a talk become elements of a written project report.

Making up something to show one's peers can begin as a sketchy effort. If it does, questions from an audience can encourage improvements such as adding: scales on graphs; keys such as dashed and solid line graphs that allow alternatives to be presented simultaneously; as well as some provision for variation by creating moving images, or just a sequence of similar visuals. The principle is inclusion of some words that cue the speaker and aide the viewer, along with drawings..

Stressing the importance of giving talks is one way to ensure that project design participants keep trying to achieve their goals. Again, a single word says it: persevere. At the worst, something tried is unsuccessful. Usually that teaches something about what else is needed to reach the goal. As long as one is still learning and hasn't given up on reaching the goal, there's a pretty good chance of some kind of accomplishment. The project process need not cease because of an obstacle. Think of how a momentary failure in adding a given piece to a jigsaw puzzle doesn't do anything to the solution process if the failure is passed over, another piece chosen, and it is fit in place. Perhaps the first piece will fit only after the second one is put into the puzzle. This occurs in a project process too, although there are usually several people and many tasks in a real design.

The project process involves building a cooperative work unit. It causes the participants to benefit from comments, concerns, and communications of others. With a large enough group of people all doing their own projects, the knowledge and comments of individuals not associated with the design being spoken about can be very helpful to the designers. Even an audience of friends, family or other nonscientific people can say things that help a speaker. They may even bring in questions based on information they have that is not yet known to the project team.

The project process begins with a presentation designed to attract partners or support. It can be with peers who may join the task, an interested academic advisor, any other faculty member, a family member, or an outside potential investor. The process continues to involve talks about tasks, elements that need to be accomplished to move forward to the long-range goal. All the talks are essentially informal in nature: the purpose is to get out ideas and accomplishments. Hence the response is a discussion but not a criticism nor a grade.

All the activity described in these talks is to lead to production of a report. The process has two deadlines to ensure that participants complete specific objectives in limited time, and more important, that they gain skill at setting and refining their work targets. The deadlines require delivery of an interim, and a final report. The interim report should be due at the halfway point. If the activity is in a formal course, the length of the project can be tailored to the circumstances, i.e., number of other students participating in projects, size of the project teams . When there are relatively few students, the project can be a year activity with an interim report due after a term or a semester. The deadlines simulate industrial design situations. Likewise, the talks and report drafts can be designed to strengthen participants' skill at proposal-writing or other economic economic reward-seeking activity. The final report allows for revision and usually complete recasting of the interim job. The two-report system ensures that everyone works to finish something twice.

Students particularly, and all of us generally, tend to avoid beginning a project. The project process counters that by using deadlines sparingly. It focuses on individual initiative and interest rather than externally-imposed scheduling. A student commented that nothing happens until the partners reach decisions. The projects are complex and somehow they must cease to be things people discuss. That happens when the project group defines tasks and individuals resolve them.

When people are hesitant to bring forward their ideas in a talk, questions are posed that stimulate student initiative in composing visuals for a brief presentation on something else. This can be a request that leads to a web or library search on an interesting subject. The requirement for someone to voluntarily give a visual talk is used to keep the process moving. It supports the project process by increasing visual/verbal presentation skills.

Project work begins by assembling a cooperating group of individuals. It continues when they work to build partial solutions to the goal that can be assembled into a completed task somewhere in the future. The final report can state what has been accomplished within the formal deadline imposed on the work team, or what could be done, based on things learned in the project.

1.d Talking and Writing

Effective talking and writing are essential elements contributing to career success. Concise and clear conveying of technical ideas to others is necessary to convince them of the merit in what has been done, or the value in things one wants to undertake. "Time is money" as the saying goes. The respect shown others, the effort made to accommodate to the pace of business is definitely in one's overall interest. Any written mode of communication allows the audience to approach the subject at a rate that fits their schedule and interests. Hence practically speaking it is often necessary to present a written document, a report, to initiate discussions.

Creating a product or starting a business involves conveying something to others. One way to learn to communicate well with people not part of a project, is to begin and practice in your normal work context. Exercise and activity enables greater ease with basic communication tools. Having once spoken about a subject, one becomes better able to talk again. One's speech takes on the character of a garment, and the wearer the knowledge of how others will react. The chosen words take on the aura of thoughtfulness. They seem careful and precise after the tale has been told before. Because of prior talks experience stands out. Adjustment to the audience's needs is possible when one has already said something on a subject: it just requires a change in vocabulary. If one speaks on the theme for the first time, the core may be clouded by the feeling that the talk is an improvisation.

Converting the spoken material into written form requires considerable effort. That effort is worthwhile because the business standard requires written communication for reference and review. That means that the single most effective business tool is a carefully prepared document. The item is called a report in technical fields like engineering. In commerce, an item with added features about projected earnings is called a business plan. But each field has many subordinate special purpose written communications. Some of the terms used in project work to describe written communications, such as progress report, work statement, requirements or needs statement, and specifications will be described in detail in the following sections. For rapid comparison of a report to these more focussed written forms we list some nontechnical terms about kinds of writing. E.g., in increasing order of length: the note, essay, business letter; memorandum; and legal brief.

To be effective in reporting you need to reflect carefully on what you need to convey and what the recipient may derive from what you compose. Other essential elements are acting (many temporize), evaluating (lateness makes it hard to review and reflect on what you've written), adapting (some things done in the past may have value for the current need), and almost always, revising what had been composed before.

The project design process is a way of gaining experience in talking, writing, negotiating with one's peers, deciding on the work that can be accomplished before a deadline, and generally preparing to meet with or convey written technical content to a specific audience. The person or people who might consider the work could be a supervisor at a job, a potential investor, or someone you are interviewing to hire or recruit.

The first phase of the project process involves recruiting. Speaking with others to convince some to support your purpose is the essence of that activity. In this and in other cases a necessary condition for effectiveness is having thought through the key issues in advance. Someone said: "Experience is the result of bad judgement ... and good judgement is the result of experience." The same idea can easily be put in another way: "Practice makes perfect."

In comparison with writing, talking about a subject is a different and stimulating experience. Speaking moves written words or general thoughts into a free and growing form. New ideas may come to a person while speaking. Memory of what was said and personal impression or evaluation of audience reaction leads to extensions or revisions of the preliminary material. Speaking stimulates writing since those additions or changes need to be recorded.

When asked to speak most people experience intense fear. Almost everyone agrees that there is little defense to the fear of talking except transforming it into work. Since the latter is just a concise way of saying, speaking again and again, there really is only one thing to do, prepare. This word really comes down to two things: 1) create visual aides, figures, graphs and outlines to talk about; and, 2) write out a version of what will be said (but don't read it; instead be prepared to speak, prodded only by glances at the notes).

In order to write and talk one needs to constantly use preparation and practice. Effort leads to success in accomplishing a speaking or writing obligation or commitment.. In all stages of the process, talking and writing about parts of the project help move it from being a concept to becoming a reality. Creating a written document that records conclusions reached in discussions has several other virtues. The document can display interrelationships. It can be useful in ordering priorities. It can enable quick communication of the entire theme to others. Above all, the written elements are a record of the work that can be revised in compiling an overall project report.

1.e Examples

Classes of students ranging from only a few, to thirty-five completing the course, produced project design reports within a ten-week term. They followed only four requirements. Each individual needed to give two presentations on the project and each team had to submit two written reports. Software projects ranged over many different aspects of computing. Students initiated projects on modeling biological systems by dynamic differential equations. Others created internet utilities that ranged from demonstration projects to completely new and functioning items created since the term started, that once posted to the web found users on other continents. One group created a complex multiple user game based on text dialogs. Two others worked to enhance a virtual reality system. People created skillful and original computer graphics. Products included the commercial: ordering software for electronic shopping, computer tools for realtors to find house locations, and programs to enable salary comparisons at varied geographic location taking into account local housing costs.

One way to develop new computer designs that become products is to simultaneously challenge and guide. Many charitable or poorly funded institutions need and cannot afford work by computer professionals. Anyone interested in organizing a computing design project curriculum can contact people at such institutions. The purpose would be to learn enough about their needs to be able to write a short statement about them. A sample statement developed in this way follows.

Screen-Reading Software. Many people with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, can benefit from both audio and visual feedback from electronic text materials to improve their reading comprehension. Existing DOS software incorporates text-highlighting, speech-synthesizer output, and user-control (over speech-rate, text-style, background colors, etc.). People need similar programs that run with other user-oriented operating systems (at least Windows and Mac-OS) and key application programs. A simple low-cost program would benefit millions of computer users, with and without learning disabilities.

The style here is a brief title followed by one or two paragraphs describing the potential project. The items introduce both a project; and a sample project description. [While a project description is essentially an abstract, it is about something that is not yet done.]. Project initiation can follow electronic or hard copy posting of a list of paragraphs about possible projects, or physical distribution at an official meeting, Distribution of any list provides examples of subjects and styles. There are many different possibilities, varied forms of work, varieties of exposition. The examples open people to other things that stimulate interest, often leading to a response like asking about their own idea's project suitability. The following restates information volunteered in just that way.

MicroMouse Software. Produce C and assembly code for a Zilog Z80C96 microcontroller (with no ROM), and mouse control support logic. Code should be upgradeable and adapt easily to hardware changes. Code should be easily understood, maintained, altered, tested, and written.

1.f Projects.

This book grew out of a class for seniors in Computer Science attended by individuals with widely different professional orientation, ages, and skills. Voluntary formation of project groups uses time deadlines to encourage speaking about ideas, and rapid agreement to be part of a team. Activities in the following exercise section give enjoyable topics for practice talks. The project items here avoid practical topics. and provide a means to start a discussion on what constitutes a project. A guide to better ways to compose a visual to present numerical data is [1].

1. Crosswords. a) Create a numerical scoring system for measuring progress toward completion for a crossword puzzle solving process. b) Develop measures of vocabulary-learning accomplishment for people working puzzles in a non-native language from error rates, correct-word lengths, etc. [2]

2. Units Describe the conversion factors among weight and volume terms in different measuring systems. Include dram, grain, and mite among the weight units. "The word dram comes from the Greek drachme, originally a small silver coin worth as much as six iron nails (it means "handful"). Ancient systems of weights were derived from the weights of coins, and by the late Middle Ages the dram also referred to a volume of liquid weighing a dram. A fluid dram is 1/8 fluid ounce or 3/4 teaspoon. ... a "grain" of spice, derived from the weight of a grain of barley, ... 1/20 of a scruple or 1/7000 of a pound." (from an article entitled Measured Words by Charles Perry in the Los Angeles Times February 8, 1996).

3. Jigsaws. Develop a method to score a jigsaw puzzle completion task.[3]

4. Circuits. Create a three-dimensional spatial layout procedure for designing a maze or an integrated circuit.

5. Choice.. Develop a method for the computer solution of jigsaw puzzles based on choosing one of a series of pieces based on its numerical characterization (see [3]).

6. Compose. Write a page that describes in a few paragraphs your own project idea. Put it away for a day. Spend some time reading a standard work on writing such as [4]. Revise and possibly extend your page. When you begin the revision pretend it was written by someone else and can be clarified, shortened, made more precise, or in other ways corrected.

1.g Exercises

1. Create a talk outline. One possible focus is to convince fellow-students that your specific project idea would be interesting to work on.

2. Review a short item in some source of inspirational literature. List short phrases or single words that describe your feelings about it. [This item by a remarkable individual born without sight and hearing could be a starting point:

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world. -Helen Adams Keller]

3. Summarize the key points in a technical or other article you found this week. (While an outline is possible, a short essay - anything from a paragraph to a page, with the source author, title, place where it appeared, date it was written, will be more useful to you later.) Choose a topic you want to learn about. If your source is a national newspaper did you read it online or in print? If your item was from an internet web site, please list the address [5].)

4. Create a presentation focussed on your own technical skills and those you believe are needed for your project to develop to a business product [6].

5. Compose a presentation to a group you would like to invest in a business activity. The activity is to begin with your group continuing your project for six months to a year after the final report deadline. The minimum sum allows the members to only work on the project and not require any other money to live on [7].

6. Create one page to visually communicate your project idea to others. Use images, flow diagrams, graphs, charts. Limit text to labels and headings [8].

7. The sine, cosine, etc., trigonometric functions are called the circular functions. Explain this in a talk to a group using a new figure or visual you compose or adapt.

8. Create a figure or visual illustration of the error inherent in using any four approximations for p. Some possible values: the Biblical value of 3, the Egyptian , the Greek approximations and Ramanujan's .

9. Plan a short talk comparing different systems for representing whole or fractional numbers [9].

10. Create visuals comparing different ways of partitioning nine loaves of bread among ten individuals [10].

11. Select a book supporting your project goals that you plan to read and finish during the next month.

12. Organize data reporting on a statistical computer experiment. Express the items to be evaluated in terms of individual occurrences and indices. Review relevant items in the statistical material of chapter 15, particularly 15.2.

13. Organize data pointers or links to support storing information from several members of a project team.

14. Use a web browser to locate information to present verbally and visually on a fundamental issue in mathematical reasoning. Possible starting concepts are: irrational numbers, the natural logarithm base e, the Fibonnaci numbers, and the circle-circumference to diameter ratio p [11].

1.8 Projects

1. Literary sources that involve unusual play with words or letters are described in [0] pp. 79-101 where the last page is a bibliography. Some of ideas there involve words or sentences that read the same backwards or forwards (palindromes). Strange as it may seem, there are advertising industry uses for software that generates novel names. Moving source material for playing with words and letters into a product that uses computer technology is the general idea for a design project.

2. "Prove that at a gathering of any six people, some three of them are either mutual acquaintances or complete strangers to each other," appears, as well as in its original source, in [0] p. 231. The article there on pp. 231-247 introduces Ramsey Theory, a link between graphs and numbers. Very large numbers are at the heart of encryption, and hence, computer security. Because of the fact that a noted computer scientist, D. Knuth, and a UCLA mathematics professor, B. Rothschild, are associated with extraordinarily large numbers that arise from the simple graphical concepts of this theory, create a project to make this topic accessible to K-12 students interested in computing.

1.9 References

[0]Martin Gardner, Penrose tiles to trapdoor ciphers, New York : Freeman, 1989 Description: ix, 311 p., \{4\} p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. Subject(s): Mathematical recreations. \ LIBRARY: SEL/EMS Call number: QA 95 G298 1989 \ }

[1] Tufte, E., The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Graphics Press, Cheshire CT, 1983.

[2] Ginsberg, M., Frank, M., Halpin, M. and Torrance, M., "Search Lessons Learned from Crossword Puzzles," Proceedings Eighth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI, 1990, 210-215.

[3] Hartigan, J., Clustering Algorithms, NY: Wiley 1975.

[4] Strunk, W., White, E. , The Elements of Style, NY: Macmillan 1972.

[5] McKown, D., Writing for Career Growth, IEEE, 1991 (IEEE Order No. HL4523-QCU).

[6] Merrill, R., Sedgwick, H., The New Venture Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Run Your Own Business, Revised, AMACOM/American Management Association, 1993.

[7] McKeever, M., How to Write a Business Plan, 4th ed., Berkeley, Calif.: Nolo Press, 1992.

[8] Nelsen, Roger B., Proofs Without Words, The Mathematical Association of America,1993.

[9] Joseph, George Gheverghese, The Crest of the Peacock - Non-European Roots of Mathematics, London UK: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd Publishers, 1991.

[10] Gillings, Richard J., Mathematics in the Time of the Pharaohs, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1972; NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1982, ISBN 0-486-24315-X.

[11] Beckmann, Petr, A History of Pi, Boulder, CO : Golem Press, 1982. Also see web sites: http://www.hepl.phys.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~mitsuru/pi-e.html



http: //www.mindnet/xethyr/numbers/approxpi.htm

[12] Gardner, Martin, Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers, NY: Freeman, 1989. }