[ Here's my Wild About Math Bloggers post from last week. This week's article is at Equalis. ]
I begin this week's tour of the Math Blogosphere with news of the death of Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry. Mandelbrot, in fact, coined the term "fractal" in 1975.
- Rudy's Blog has a nice article, with beautiful images: Remembering Benoit Mandelbrot.
- The TED Blog comments on Mandelbrot's legacy.
- Scientific American reports on Mandelbrot's passing.
- Scientific American has republished a 1985 article on "how simple computer programs could be used to view fractal pioneer Benoit Mandelbrot's eponymous set."
If you've not seen the PBS movie "Between the Folds" you may want to check it out. It's an outstanding video about the art of paper-folding and how artists and mathematicians are pushing the envelope of what's possible with just a sheet of paper. You can stream the movie from Netflix if you have the service. You can buy the video from the producer or from Amazon.
Professor Erno Rubik's iconic puzzle, a simple, yet complex multicolored cube, took the world by storm in the 1980s and sold millions of copies. The inventor will receive a Lifetime Science Education Achievement Award from the USA Science & Engineering Festival this weekend.
[ I publish a weekly article at Equalis of some interesting gems I've found in the Blogosphere during the past week. I have an agreement with Equalis that I can republish those articles one week after they've published them. So, here's my article from a week ago. Enjoy! ]
Welcome, everyone, to another week of Wild About Math Bloggers.
I just hosted edition #4 of the Mathematics and Multimedia Carnival. From the Carnival, I particularly enjoyed "The Death of the Amateur Mathematician." What does it take to contribute to mathematical knowledge? What does it take to be an amateur mathematician?
Now there are hardly any successful amateur mathematicians although many people still dabble in their spare time in mathematics. In this case, I define a "successful" mathematician as someone who has in some way advanced the pool of mathematical knowledge. The lack of amateur mathematicians is largely due to the fact that in order to be able to advance mathematics, one has to know quite a lot of mathematics, more than is really possible for the typical person. I can't pick up a few books and suddenly be at the edge of what is known, instead I need years of training before I will reach that point, especially in the field of mathematics. Most of what we teach at the high school level, for example, is mathematics that was invented more than 300 years ago.
We have essentially hit the limit for what an amateur mathematician is capable of producing. We should expect only highly specialized mathematicians will produce new knowledge in the area of mathematics for the rest of our future as a species. This limit will eventually increase so that eventually no one will be able to add to the field of mathematics.
Welcome to the fourth edition of the Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival.
* Note: All images in this post are from Wikipedia.
The Number 4
- Four is the smallest composite number, its proper divisors being 1 and 2. Four is also a highly composite number. The next highly composite number is 6.
- Four is the second square number, the second centered triangular number.
- 4 is the smallest squared prime (p2) and the only even number in this form. It has an aliquot sum of 3 which is itself prime. The aliquot sequence of 4 has 4 members (4, 3, 1, 0) and is accordingly the first member of the 3-aliquot tree.
(2) Milo Gardner presents Ahmes Papyrus, New and Old Classifications posted at New and Old Ahmes Papyrus classifications,. The history of Western mathematics includes 200 rational number based problems recorded in Egyptian (2050 BCE to 1550BCE) unit fractions. The RMP is sometimes called Ahmes' Papyrus, named after its scribe. The hieratic text described 87 problems: 20 arithmetic, 10 algebraic, 10 geometric, 46 economic (weights and measures) and one mod 7 recreational problem known in the medieval era as "Going to St. Ives". Forms of unit fraction arithmetic remained in use until 1454 AD, the latest text was Fibonacci's Liber Abaci, Latin writing Europe's arithmetic book from 1202 AD to 1454 AD, and fully replaced by base 10 decimals by 1585 AD.
(3) Ed Pegg Jr presents Happy Vampire Day posted at Wolfram Blog. "October has a rather special day—10/05/2010 is a vampire date, since 10052010 = 5001 × 2010. The next two 8-digit vampire dates are 10/05/2064 and 10/19/2248. As a puzzle, try to figure out how to rearrange their digits into two 4-digit numbers, which have a product of the original number."
(4) zar presents Dimostrazione senza parole (demonstration without words) posted at Gli studenti di oggi. Zar's blog is written in Italian, but this particular post is "without words."
(5) Erlina Ronda presents GeoGebra and Mathematics: Investigating coordinates posted at Keeping Math Simple.
(6) John Golden presents Fraction Multiplication posted at Math Hombre -- A Geogebra visualization for multiplying fractions, along with a novice screencast and a discussion of embedding geogebra in a blog.
(7) William Emeny presents A sequences alternative to ‘how many matchsticks’ posted at Great Maths Teaching Ideas. "Make lessons on sequences much more interesting by adding context! Use sequences to analyse skyscrapers!"
(10) Rebecca Zook presents How To Multiply Binomials Using a Box! posted at Triangle Suitcase - Rebecca Zook's Blog About Learning. "Many people find this "box" method for multiplying binomials more intuitive than foiling. I created this series of short videos to share this idea with other math teachers and students."
(11) Guillermo Bautista presents Mathematics in Microsoft Office « Mathematics and Multimedia posted at Mathematics and Multimedia. This is an article on integrating mathematics to office suites.
(12) Last but not least, I submit my own review of The Mystery of the Prime Numbers. This is an amazing book, with great illustrations that looks like a children's book but will appeal to anyone who wants to dive deep into simple ideas.
Please Help Promote the Carnival
The Math and Multimedia Carnival is a baby carnival, so please promote this Carnival in your blogs.
Just a reminder that your submissions are due Friday October 8 for the next Carnival which I'll be hosting the following Monday. More information about the Carnival is here.
Please submit your blog articles via the official submission form.