David M. McClendon Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics
Ferris State University
 Main / contact info
 General info for students
     Philosophy of Mathematics
     Finite Mathematics    
     115:  College Algebra
     116:  Algebra / Trig I
     120:  Trigonometry
     122:  Business Analysis
     126:  Algebra / Trig II
     130:  Pre-calculus
     216:  Applied Calculus
     220:  Calculus I
     230:  Calculus II
     251:  Statistics
     320:  Calculus III
     322:  Linear Algebra
     330:  Differential Equations
     414:  Prob/Stat I
     416:  Prob/Stat II
     417:  Exam P Prep
     420:  Abstract Algebra
     430:  Real Analysis
     Game Theory
     Dynamical Systems
     FSU Home
     FSU CAS
     FSU Math Dept
     Academic Calendar
     FSU Webmail

 My interests outside the classroom


I have built and exhibited models built from LEGO bricks since I was 5; my current collection includes roughly 650,000 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.

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