Math That Connects Where We’re Going to Where We’ve Been

Say you’re at a party with nine other people and everyone shakes everyone else’s hand exactly once. How many handshakes take place? This is the “handshake problem,” and it’s one of my favorites. As a math teacher, I love it because there are so many different ways you can arrive at the solution, and the diversity and interconnectedness of those strategies beautifully illustrate the power of...


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