Well, this is it, the big one. Pi Day 3.14.16 won’t happen again for 100 years. I hope you had some mathematical fun today or at least had a piece of pie. I’ve been working on a simulation of Napier’s Bones for iOS. The iPad app is functionally similar to Napier’s calculating tool which, of course, in the history of computing devices, was one of the earliest calculators. The app is designed using a table top or wooden box metaphor.
Rods are picked up by tapping a number on the left and dragging it into position on the right. Each rod is etched with the multiplication table for the specific number. I am hoping that using the app will help kids better understand the meaning of multiplication.
A slider moves up and down highlighting the multiplier and showing how the partial products are used to generate the product.
The app also includes a bit of historical information about John Napier, the Scottish mathematician who lived in Edinburg from 1550 to 1617.
I included a quiz function so that the app will challenge kids to use the device to find the answers to multiplication problems. It starts out with two-digit number multiplied by single digit number. Problems then get progressively more challenging.
If all goes well the app should be available from the Apple iTunes store soon, hopefully by April Fools Day.😀