Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Cool program

Ivars Peterson highlights a wonderful program called NameVoyager in his article in ScienceNews for Kids. The program is a Java application which allows a person to type in a name and see a graph of the name’s popularity over time. There are some interesting things that can be gleaned from the graphs. For example Abigail was almost never used as a girls name until the 1940s and as of 2004 it was the sixth most popular name for girls. This allows people to guage a persons age by their first name, as names appear to go through cycles. The program would be a fun tool for exposing young children to data analysis. If you get a chance check it out.