# Learning the mathematics behind juggling at Iowa State

in a classroom where bookbags and desks it becomes a lot of practice take a back

seat to students with their newfound hobby I started about October last year. just

last year? yeah minds are mulling. it’s not

easy at first just as quickly as hands are catching

various difficulties for everyone it took me awhile to do but I’ve seen

people who can pick it up within the hour or two or not catching too often but that’s okay you know dropping is part of juggling. one of the newest classes offered at Iowa State this is the mathematics of juggling and

and the goal of juggling is controlling patterns assistant mathematics professor steve

butler says to start juggling get comfortable throwing one ball back and forth from right

and to your left after that adding a second ball. this is

the hard part once you master this then you’re good to go and it’s a fine I

want to throw this ball and I want to catch it over here but this hand is occupied. So I need to release this ball and get over there! now

the natural instinct is to be like Panic! and and just a quick like 10 growing no

panic do not panic! What we want to do is throw this ball as it’s coming up and starting to come back down and say okay now’s the time to throw this one so throw throw at and once you’ve accomplished that it’s

time to think about patterns thats comes out how you throw ball there’s we described them by the length of time until you catch them, so this is a one because you catch it right away and than two is a little bit longer and

usually tosses that go across even the same

here 1 and you have two and you we have 3 and four and we have five for example this mathematically so we call 4-0 because you’re right-handed throwing

four and your left hand is throwing two patterns are very many and that’s where

the math comes in juggling and mathematics it’s a way to

open up your eyes to see more possibilities are the way to explore

patterns mathematics is a science of patterns juggling is the

science of control impacts people have been juggling for thousands of years but it wasn’t until they came around and

said okay let’s analyze the situation mathematically what’s possible say you’re juggling this kind of pattern and you want to transition to something else how can you do that how many different ways what makes it look nice and there’s all

sorts of questions you can ask that’s why Butler believes you don’t

have to be a great mathematician or a great juggler you just have to be willing to be interested in both and his students are and they’ve already accomplished his

main goal for the class knowing how to simply juggle no one will believe them I mean we took

a class in juggling? prove it I do want to have them experience within the mathematical

ideas like proofs how do you prove something and that’s

when I’d like to have to say hey this math stuff you can do something

interesting things with it you can relate something that students can seem like yes I can

see an application mathematics I can see the ideas proving that math can be fun! I can go to someone and I

can say math its cool like math no I hate

calculus no its not just calculus there’s other

stuff like your juggling Math is totally awesome in in

useful for everybody Alex Murphy math isn’t meant to be easy

if it was too easy it wouldn’t be any fun! Iowa State University

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I am so glad to see that there is a class combining math and juggling! If you would ever like a guest speaker, or would be interested in helping me convince local universities that a juggling math course is a good idea, feel free to contact me. 🙂

Wrong 2s are a hold.