Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

24Jan/082

Seven old Wild About Math! posts that I wish had been more popular

In a twist on reminiscing on old popular posts from the previous year I present some of my early posts that I thought were particularly interesting but you didn't. I like to believe that's because not many of you knew about this blog when I started it October 6th.

Just think of this post as my personal Carnival of Mathematics, with all submissions coming from my blog. Anyway, check out some of these posts:

1. Have you ever considered how early U.S. area codes were determined? Not the most math-y post but I found the information for that post in a  Math encyclopedia. This post should be of interest to curious folks.

2. If you have any interest in dissections and tessellations check out Is it a triangle or a square? I was absolutely fascinated to discover a simple hinged dissection of an equilateral triangle that becomes a square.

3.  Anagrams are fun. I found a web-site that will take your name or any other words and permute the letters to form other words. One of the permutations of my name is Male Nerd Sol. How fitting!

4.  I did a mini review of Proofs Without Words: Exercises in Visual Thinking in the post titled A picture is worth ... This is one of several books out there that give very visual demonstrations of mathematical theorems.

5.  I posted about a fun little Math exploration with a circle and chords and a mini review of the Mudd Math Fun Facts, which is where the exploration came from.

6. I reviewed Mark Wahl's Math for Humans book. This book more than any has sparked my interest in how to reach students who think and learn differently than how schools in the U.S. traditionally teach.

7. In a clever use of a parabola to perform multiplication I gave an interesting little problem that completely delighted me when I saw it and solved it. This is one of those problems that gets me to wonder how anyone ever came up with it. Brent wrote about this odd problem in his blog, The Math Less Traveled.

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  1. Regarding #7, I can figure out mathematically that it works, but am still trying to arrive at a physical justification. I recall vaguely that there is some notion of a geometric mean being the ordinate when the abcissa is split in the ratio of square roots blah blah blah.

    As a variation, you can use the curve y=|x| instead of y=x^2, in which case the solution will be the harmonic mean of a and b.

    Clueless

  2. I wasn’t aware of your blog when most of these were originally posted. Thanks for the repost – several of them are nifty.

    I have left a couple of comments regarding #7 at the original post.


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