David M. McClendon Professor
Department of Mathematics
Ferris State University
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     Philosophy of Mathematics
     Finite Mathematics    
     115:  College Algebra
     116:  Algebra / Trig 1
     120:  Trigonometry
     122:  Business Analysis
     126:  Algebra / Trig 2
     130:  Pre-calculus
     216:  Applied Calculus
     220:  Calculus 1
     230:  Calculus 2
     251:  Statistics
     320:  Calculus 3
     322:  Linear Algebra
     330:  Differential Equations
     414:  Prob/Stat 1
     416:  Prob/Stat 2
     417:  Exam P Prep
     420:  Abstract Algebra
     430:  Real Analysis
     Game Theory
     Dynamical Systems
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 My interests outside the classroom


I have built and exhibited models built from LEGO bricks since I was 5; my current collection includes roughly 800,000 pieces.   Pictures of my constructions (as of several years ago) can be found in this folder on Brickshelf.

 Mathematics and LEGO

LEGO bricks give rise to interesting mathematical questions as well.  Suppose you take n LEGO bricks (all the same size and shape) and ask how many different ways you can interlock the n bricks.  This gives a function which turns out to be exponential in n.  What is unknown is the number that is the "base" of this exponential function (i.e. the entropy rate of the system of interlocking bricks).  For a standard 2x4 LEGO brick, Duhuurs and Eilers give estimates on the entropy rate in this paper.  For LEGO jumper plates and roof tiles (sloped pieces), I wrote a paper with Ferris State undergraduate Jon Wilson, which can be found here.

Estimates on the entropy of other types of LEGO bricks and on combinations of multiple types of LEGO bricks are largely unexplored, but most methods are accessible to undergraduate students.