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Math trivia

Ok, it's trivia time. How many of these questions can you answer?

  • What do mathematicians call a regular polygon with eight sides?
  • What mathematical symbol did math whiz Ferdinand von Lindemann determine to be a transcendental number in 1882?
  • What number is an improper fraction always greater than?
  • How many equal sides does an icosahedron have?
  • What two letters are both symbols for 1,000?
  • What Greek math whiz noticed that the morning star and evening star were one and the same, in 530 B.C.?
  • What handy mathematical instrument's days were numbered when the pocket calculator made the scene in the 1970s?

See this Math trivia page for more questions and answers to the above questions.

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  1. Hmm, they say that K and M are both symbols for 1,000. But M is usually used for 1,000,000. I guess they are thinking of Roman Numerals, which is the only context I can think of in which M would represent 1,000.

    I discovered your blog a week or so ago, and have been enjoying reading through some of your posts. Thanks for the fun blog!

  2. Hi Mathmom,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. How did you discover it?

    I’d have to dig around a bit but I do recall M being used as 1,000 in the Roman numerals, i.e. when the year of construction is inscribed on a stone on a building. I’m in Hawaii right now on vacation so I won’t have time to look right away.



  3. Mathmom,

    M is 1,000. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:



  4. i thought of M and K right away.
    but context is everything!
    “123M”, as mathmom points out,
    is most likely 123 Million.
    and “really” K denotes 1024.

    spotted you at the carnival.
    welcome to the blathosphere!

  5. Vlorbik,

    Yes, you and Mathmom are right. Context is everything. And good catch on K being 1024. And M, in computer context (i.e. megabyte), is 1024^2 but is often “rounded down” to 1,000,000.

    Thanks for the warm welcome, and for adding me to your blog roll. You’ve got the longest blog roll I’ve ever seen! I’ll have to visit some of the links there in my travels around the blathosphere.

  6. On improper fractions: That question doesn’t have an answer. Rationals can be negative, after all.

  7. Good catch, Pseudonym. I guess a better wording would be:

    What number is *the absolute value of* an improper fraction always greater than?


  8. “What number is *the absolute value of* an improper fraction always greater than?”

    I suspect there would be a lot of answers. Basically anything less than 1. Such as .99, .98, .97, 0 etc, and so forth.

    The answer can’t be 1 as 4/4 (4 over 4) is considered an improper fraction and it would be equal to 1.

  9. I was not good in math in school but I have love it now as an adult. I even put some math trivia questions on my blog. I hope everyone likes it. Will add much more.

  10. mathematician of trivia

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  12. Amusements in Mathematics is a collection of mathematical puzzles and brainteasers from English author and mathematician Henry Ernest Dudeney. The book includes over 450 illustrations.Im not good in math
    skai del pirata

  13. “k” and “m” are just confusing us what to use i suggest we leave this problem

  14. icosahedron has 20 sides.

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