Math

Numb3rs

Please read Graham Cormode’s review of the TV show, “Numb3rs” (which he claims is pronounced “Numbthreers” rather than “Numbers”). Brief excerpt: Given low initial expectations, it was probably one of the better attempts to show mathematical topics within the context… Read More ›

What math has taught him

Sam Hughes is the author of the Venn Diagram cited in my previous post. I also recommend his list of “Things mathematics has taught me”: That there are such things as unanswerable questions — indeed, provably unanswerable questions That Occam’s… Read More ›

An argument from continuity

Two sophomores approached my colleague Josh with a question: “How can we construct a fair 5-sided die?” Josh posed a prior question: Is it even possible to construct such a die? He fashioned an interesting argument from continuity: Consider two… Read More ›

The view from college math

Rudbeckia Hirta (a clever pseudonym for a math professor who carefully keeps her true identity hidden) observes: Due to reasons beyond my understanding, high school math and college math are completely unaligned. The K-12 system sends us students whose knowledge… Read More ›

Where visuals fail

Some of us couldn’t possibly forget the 1969 draft lottery, the new and supposedly “fair” system to pick who was going to be sent to Vietnam. My Algebra 2 class is studying probability and was remarkably interested in learning about… Read More ›

Martin Gardner for pennies

The Mathematical Association of America is selling a CD containing 15 Martin Gardner books (the entire collection of his Scientific American columns) for a mere $55.95 — or $44.95 if you’re a member!