Flipping Pancakes Problem
Who knew there was mathematics behind flipping pancakes? Using a problem posed by mathematician Jacob Goodman in 1975, Dr. Manes and assistants Reckwerdt and Rader facilitated a session in which we investigated ordering, factorials, permutations and combinatorics within the context of this problem. Foam manipulatives provided a model for flipping pancakes and for finding the most difficult combination of different sized pancakes to place in an optimal order. Focusing on problem solving, a set of ten very different problem solving strategies were shared followed by an exploration of their accompanying resources from the MAA’s Curriculum Inspirations website.