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Posts Tagged ‘mathematics’

Weird and wild warped-grid jigsaw puzzles inspired by Mobius, Haeckel, and Picasso

Mathematician, artist, and engineer George W. Hart of "Möbius ***** bagel" fame has recently been playing with a laser cutter to create head-spinning warped-grid jigsaw puzzles. He came up with an algorithm to generate the initial patterns but "the real fun is step 2," he says, "using a geometric transformation to warp things."


Freeman Dyson as remembered by Tim O’Reilly

Legendary physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, whose mind-blowing work ranged from quantum electrodynamics to nuclear engineering to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, died last week at 96-years-old. Tim O'Reilly just published a tribute to Dyson's genius, curiosity, kindness and unique lens on, well, everything. From O'Reilly Radar:

When I interviewed Freeman on stage at ...

“Pick a number and I’ll guess it”: the math behind the magic

On Vsauce2, Kevin Lieber explains the mathematical magic that enables mentalists to confound audiences by correctly guessing the number they've picked. Even though I know how it's done, it still confounds me.

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Katherine Johnson, pioneering NASA mathematician portrayed in “Hidden Figures,” RIP

The great Katherine Johnson, one of the legendary African-American mathematicians who were essential to the Apollo 11 moon landing, has died at age 101. You'll recall that Johnson, who worked at NASA’s Flight Research Division for more than three decades, was the central character in the film Hidden Figures. From the New York Times:

Mrs. ...

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 ...