## MMM #25: Monotonous Monday Math Madness

[ See below for MMM #25 ]

Blinkdagger has announced the winner for MMM #24 and I've got a new problem so keep reading.

Rich Berlin noticed the relationship to MMM #1 and submitted an interesting solution, based on Pat Ballew's Markov chain process which I wrote about in March.

The technique for solving this is the same as for MMM #1, except the numbers are a bit nastier to work with.

I solved MMM #1 using a decision tree, but as a result of reading Sol's blog I learned the Markov state approach and am happy to use that instead.

## MMM #24: Rock Band Madness at Blinkdagger

MMM #24 is available now at Blinkdagger. Here's the problem:

The Problem Statement

The five songs that the blinkdagger band (Rob, Zane, Daniel, and Quan) can complete on expert are:

- Oasis - Wonderwall
- Dashboard Confessional - Hands Down
- Bon Jovi - Livin’ on a Prayer
- Wheezer - Say It Ain’t So
- Journey - Any Way You Want It
Assume the following:

- The blinkdagger band only has time to play 8 songs before they have to start working on MATLAB tutorials.
- For each of the 8 songs, the blinkdagger band randomly chooses to play a song from the 5 listed above.
- All 5 songs have an equal chance of being picked.
Question: What is the % chance that the band will have played all five songs after their session ends?

Go to Blinkdagger for the contest rules and submission instructions.

## MMM #23: Winner!

Kevin Wang is the winner of MMM #23. Congratulations, Kevin!

Here is Kevin's solution:

Each run of heads must be bordered by two tails or a tail and an end. Also, we know that there are only 11 possible positions for the first coin. Thus, we can just list all of the possibilities, number them for reference later, and allow for wildcard places as such:

H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X X X X X X (1)

T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X X X X X (2)

X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X X X X (3)

X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X X X (4)

X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X X (5)

X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X X (6)

X X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X X (7)

X X X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X X (8)

X X X X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T X (9)

X X X X X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H T (10)

X X X X X X X X X T H H H H H H H H H H (11)

## Math contest at MathNotations

Dave Marain at MathNotations asked me to spread the word about a contest he's running and I'm happy to oblige.

Here's a piece of the email Dave sent me:

I'm running a math contest for HS and MS students on Tue Feb 3rd. I've announced it online and have gotten a few replies but I'd like to reach a larger audience. If you could mention it on your widely read blog, I would appreciate it. Here's the link giving all the info: http://mathnotations.blogspot.com/2009/01/first-mathnotations-math-contest.html

## Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere blog mini review

Sam J Shah describes himself in his blog's About page:

I am a middle and high school math teacher in Brooklyn, New York. I enjoy getting students excited about math by being math’s loudest and most passionate cheerleader.

I have to agree that Sam really enjoys being a Math cheerleader.

On December 28th I offered Math bloggers the opportunity to exchange mini reviews. My idea was that readers of Math blogs could get to know about more blogs. Sam took me up on my offer and reviewed my blog. Read his review and you'll see that Sam went above and beyond the call of duty in writing it. But, given my interactions with Sam, I'm not surprised. It's Sam's passion - engaging with Math wherever it may be.

## Conceptis addict blog mini review

Leena likes puzzles, she likes to tell stories and she entertains. That's my review of the Conceptis addict blog in a nutshell. Leena only has 4 categories in her blog: Math, Puzzles, My Dog, and Finland. Let's focus on Math.

Leena likes to enhance her posts with videos and images. And, she has a knack for finding really interesting Math content online. Here are some nice posts:

- Mathematics in noodles. Teaching kids about the concept of 1/2 using noodles!
- How to Read Someone's Mind With Math (Math Trick). Math tricks are a great way to get kids enthused about algebra.
- Numberz! An interesting online Math game, again, to enthuse kids about the subject.
- History of Mathematics Math history in the form of a YouTube video! And, animated, no less.
- A mathematical riddle - think outside the box. This one has me stumped.

Nice blog, Leena!

## MMM #23: Counting coin runs

Yes, I like counting problems. I have a Rubik’s Revolution, courtesy of Techno Source (or $10 Amazon.com gift certificate, if you prefer, or $10 in USD via PayPal to non-US folks) to give to the winner.

## The cheap researcher blog mini review

Øistein Gjøvik is a "33-year old, working within teacher education in Norway" according to The cheap researcher's About page. Øistein, according to his blog's tag cloud, blogs about all sorts of things; the Math tag, however, is oversized so that proves definitively that Øistein likes to blog about Math. Øistein also likes to have fun with his writing; his posts entertain.

Here are some posts over at "The cheap research" blog that I enjoyed:

**Converting Pi to binary: Don’t do it.**How converting Pi to decimal could get you into legal trouble!**Do your Math online**. Let Mathematica do your integrals for you!**Geogebra**. A few posts about the powerful and free geometry software.

The cheap researcher is a refreshing blog for those of us that can take ourselves a little too seriously at times. Enjoy!

*[If you have a Math-related web-site, or if you blog a lot about Math, and if you’re site isn’t mainly commercial, let’s exchange mini reviews like this one. You review my site, or mention it in one of your posts, and I’ll do the same for you. And, let’s also exchange blogroll links. See this post if you’re interested in a review swap.]*

## Mathematics Education Research Blog mini review

Reidar Mosvold is an Associate Professor of Math Education Research in Norway. His Blog, Mathematics Education Research Blog, is remarkably rich with references to scholarly Math education research.

Aside from the very scholarly material, here are some articles on Reidar's blog that may be of interest to a broader audience:

- A brief history of mathematics (book). A reference to a free online book about the history of Math from 1900. Also, a nice suggestion to check out Scribd for gems.
- Terence Tao in Norway. I had not heard of Terence Tao before but learned that he is a brilliant mathematician and Fields Medal winner. Reidar embeds a YouTube video, and links to more information about Mr. Tao.
- About becoming a Math Education researcher. What do we need to think about? A nice slide show.

Reidar writes prolifically for his blog. One could not possibly keep up with all of his posts so I recommend skimming his posts, or searching the blog, for particular information. Or engage Reidar in a conversation about Math education.

*[If you have a Math-related web-site, or if you blog a lot about Math, and if you’re site isn’t mainly commercial, let’s exchange mini reviews like this one. You review my site, or mention it in one of your posts, and I’ll do the same for you. And, let’s also exchange blogroll links. See this post if you’re interested in a review swap.]*