Math Curiosity: The Coloring Problem

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Students will investigate the curious question: How few colors do you need to color in *any* map?

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No video gets me more email from students! How few colors can you use to color in any map so that no two, neighboring regions are the same color?

Objective

How few colors do you need to color in any map so that no two neighboring regions are the same color?

Steps

  1. First, we introduce the idea of coloring in regions on a map with a very simple example that needs only three colors.
  2. Then, we increase the challenge a bit with a second map that still only needs three colors.
  3. Next, we present an even more challenging map.
  4. We reveal the coloring problem's true solution: no map needs more than four colors.

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