#MathArtChallenge 90: Sand Piles

The Challenge: Explore a toppling sand pile.

Here is my explanation (note, I’m pretty sure I have a mistake in toppling 20)

Here is a video that Numberphile put together describing them as well:

Reflection questions:

  • Is it possible for a pile to topple differently? Does it matter if different stages appear different or is it necessary for the toppling to be consistent?
  • What would an isometric (triangular) grid toppling looks like? How about a hexagonal one?
  • How might you meld this with computer programming?
  • Is there a less or more illuminative coloring for the sand piles? What kinds of coloring may make the sand pile structures more obvious or less?

Author: Annie Perkins

Math Teacher in Minneapolis, MN.

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