The less you know about the patterns in Pascal's triangle, the more fun you will have discovering the triangle's many secrets. I am amazed at how few students and even teachers (especially at the middle school level) have ever explored Pascal's triangle. Although this famous triangle bears the name of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), who saw many of the patterns when he was only thirteen years old, it had been around for centuries before he was born. See the ancient diagram in figure 1, which appeared at the front of a Chinese book in 1303 (Vakil 2008). Evidence suggests that the properties of the elements of Pascal's triangle were known before the common era. Students and teachers alike can enjoy exploring patterns through problem solving with Pascal's triangle.

Supplementary Materials

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Footnotes

Edited by Marilyn Howard, marilyn-howard@utulsa.edu, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Christine Kincaid Dewey, dewey@wcskids.net, Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center, Warren, Michigan; and Hiroko K. Warshauer, hiroko@txstate.edu, Texas State University, San Marcos.

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