# Intro to Chaos and Fractals: Final Questions

### For paper guidelines, click
here.

Your paper should address **one** of the following questions. If
you want to write about some other topic, you must send me a short
paragraph stating what you plan on writing about by Monday evening, 6
March.

- Write a persuasive essay arguing that chaos and/or fractals
should be taught in high school and/or elementary school. Your target
audience should be a principal or math teacher. Do not assume that
your audience knows what chaos and fractals are. Thus, you'll need to
do some explaining. Be sure to state clearly
*why* you think
chaos and/or fractals should be taught. (There are lots of good
arguments.)

- Write a persuasive essay arguing that chaos and/or fractals
should
*not* be taught in high school or elementary school.
Follow the same guidelines as in the above question.

- A friend of yours approaches you and says that she read somewhere
about how some recent math is concerned with "deterministic chaos".
Your friend thinks that this sounds like an oxymoron, but, knowing you
took a class on chaos, wants to know what you think. Is
"deterministic chaos" a contradiction? To answer this question,
you'll need to very clearly state how you're using the terms
"deterministic" and "chaos".
(This question is based on a suggestion from Jim Crutchfield.)

- Al Gore is a fairly well
educated guy who may soon be our nation's president. He has quite an
interest in science and technology. Knowing that you've taken a
course on Chaos and Fractals, he has asked you to prepare a short
document discussing what the big deal about these new topics are. In
particular, he's wondering if these new fields have any important
lessons for him, or if they're not that important for a president to
know. Be sure to take the time to explain any technical terms you
use. If you don't have space to address both chaos and fractals, feel
free to discuss only one of these topics. Also, if you'd rather
address some other politician -- Jill Goldthwaite, Angus King, Lionel
Jospin, etc. --- go ahead.

- Consider the following quote, by George Santayana:
*Chaos is a
name for any order that produces confusion in our minds*. Discuss
this in the context of the mathematical phenomena of chaos. In so
doing, you'll need to define chaos and also say what you think
Santayana means by "order".

- More topics may appear here shortly. If you have any ideas for
a good question, please let me know.

[Dave]
[Chaos
and Fractals]
[COA]

Web page maintained by dave@hornacek.coa.edu.