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Posts Tagged ‘mathematics’

Why 02/02/20 is the most palindromic date ever!

In this video on StandUpMaths, Matt explains the unique and rare palindromic qualities of the date 02/02/20. Besides being a palindrome in both US and European dating formats, 02/02/20 is also the 33rd day of the year, and because 2020 is a leap year, there are also 333 days left in the year.

Image: YouTube ...

Why you should almost always order one large pizza instead of two mediums

Many pizza places offer special "deals" if you order two medium pies. You might think that two mediums deliver more cheesy goodness than one large pie, but usually you'd be mistaken. From Primer, a mathematical comparison of two 12" pizzas and one 18" pizza:

Area of two 12” pizzas:

12/2 = 6 6×6=36 ...

In this tic-tac-toe variant played with all X’s, the loser is actually the winner

In Misère Tic-tac-toe, getting three-in-a-row means you lose. I can't wait to unleash this game on my kids at our next dinner out.

Here is a wonderfully-named app version: Notakto

Here is a scientific paper on the mathematics of the game: "The Secrets of Notakto: Winning at X-onlyTic-Tac-Toe" by Thane E. Plambeck, Greg Whitehead

And ...

Engineers developed a mathematical model of Ooblek

A favorite kitchen chemistry (and physics) experiment of kids (and adults), Ooblek is the weird result of mixing cornstarch with water. Now, MIT engineers have developed a mathematical model that can predict and simulate how the non-Newtonian fluid switches between liquid and solid depending on the pressure applied to it. From MIT News:

Aside from ...

Do Not Erase: Jessica Wynne’s beautiful photos of mathematicians’ chalkboards

Fashion Institute of Technology photographer Jessica Wynne's "Don Not Erase" project documents the beautiful chalkboards of mathematicians, which will be collected in a book from Princeton University Press in 2020 (Christmas 2020 will be a lot simpler for me as a result).

In a NYT profile of her series by Dennis Overbye, Wynne has lots ...

Video: the mathematics of where to park your car

Are you the driver in the lot who parks in the first spot you see? Or do you circle around and around looking for a spot by the door? Physicists Paul Krapivsky of Boston University and Sidney Redner of the Santa Fe Institute explored the mathematics of parking. The research required different equations and simulations ...

Stephen Wolfram recounts the entire history of mathematics in 90 minutes

Stephen Wolfram's podcast features a 90-minute lecture that he delivered at the 2019 Wolfram Summer School (MP3), recapitulating the history of mathematics from prehistory to the present day.

This is a fascinating lecture, and it also epitomizes Wolfram in that it is a magnificent feat that would have benefited immensely from editorial reflection. Wolfram ...

You can make a Turing machine inside a game of Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is Turing complete. In a new scientific paper, researchers "present a methodology for embedding an arbitrary Turing machine into a game of Magic such that the first player is guaranteed to win the game if and only if the Turing machine halts." From Ars Technica:

Furthermore, (software engineer Alex Churchill) and ...

The weight of a kilogram changed overnight; the length of a second may be next

A new definition of kilogram went into effect today. No longer is the kilogram defined by Le Grand K, a 140-year-old weight under glass in a secret location near Paris. Now it's determined by the Planck constant, based on physicist Max Planck's theory that "electromagnetic energy at a given frequency could only be ...