Integer Sequences K-12 (15w2178)



Neil Sloane (The OEIS Foundation, Inc.)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Integer Sequences K-12" workshop from February 27th to March 1, 2015.

Have you ever heard of the Recaman sequence?
Probably not, but this sequence and many others like it are pedagogic gems just waiting to be
discovered by K-12 teachers.
Here is how the Recaman sequence works:

Start at zero on the number line. First move 1 space. Next move 2 spaces. Next move 3 spaces. Next move 4 spaces... You get the idea; but what direction should you move?
The answer is that you must always try to move towards zero, but only if you move to a positive number that you have not visited before... otherwise you must move away from zero.
Here are the first several terms:

0, 1, 3, 6, 2, 7, 13, 20, 12...

This is a great way to give your students practice moving along the number line. See a video of the Recaman sequence and an extension to negative numbers here:

Why have so many pedagogically beautiful sequences failed to get noticed? Perhaps because they are treated as recreational curiosities by mathematicians, and their true home as pedagogic tools in the K-12 classroom has been missed. This conference will remedy this situation by unearthing 13 curricular sequences - one for for each grade K-12.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).