Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Wild About Math bloggers 12/3/10

[ The 12/10 edition of Wild About Math Bloggers! is at Equalis. Following is last week's edition. ]

Happy December, Everybody! Let's get rolling with this week's Wild About Math Bloggers!

Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival #5 is up at Math Hombre.

The Republic of Mathematics Blog has a nice indirect proof of a problem that James Tanton posted on twitter, that when we round n+sqrt(n), for integer n, we never get a perfect square. And, in his style, James Tanton generalizes the problem:

Round n+sqrt(n) to nearest integer and get the non-square numbers. Round n+sqrt(2n), get non-triangulars. What non-numbers are n+sqrt(3n)?

Thanks, Shecky, for the link to the proof.

Also from Republic of Mathematics, is a fun exploration on making a triangle on a sphere with the largest possible sum of angles.

Here's a great video, What Makes a Genius? From the intro at Grey Matters:

In this episode, Marcus [du Sautoy] continually asks the question, what makes the brain of a genius fundamentally different from the brain of someone who isn't a genius?

He starts off by demonstrating what most people think of as genius, with the help of Grey Matters favorite, Dr. Arthur Benjamin. Dr. Benjamin helps explain the difference between developing a skill, such as those he demonstrates, and the quality of creativity that is the true hallmark of genius.

From there, he goes back to the old arguments of nature vs. nurture, and we begin to learn how recent research is proving that both sides are more dynamic than was originally believed.


ScienceDaily reports that Europe’s Leading Scientists Urge Creation of a CERN for Mathematics.

Europe needs an Institute of Industrial Mathematics to tighten the link between maths and industry as an enabler of innovation -- putting maths at the heart of Europe's innovation, according to the European Science Foundation in a report launched in Brussels at the "Maths and Industry" Conference.

Another great read from ScienceDaily: Mathematical Problems Recast as Physics Questions, Provide New Tools for Old Quandaries.

A Princeton scientist with an interdisciplinary bent has taken two well-known problems in mathematics and reformulated them as a physics question, offering new tools to solve challenges relevant to a host of subjects ranging from improving data compression to detecting gravitational waves.

Here's something to ponder, courtesy of Futility Closet:

The first few powers of 5 share a curious property — their digits can be rearranged to express their value:

25 = 5^2
125 = 5^(1 + 2)
625 = 5^(6 – 2)
3125 = (3 + (1 × 2))^5
15625 = 5^6 × 1^25
78125 = 5^7 × 1^82

It’s conjectured that all powers of 5 have this property. But no one’s proved it yet.

Math Teacher CTK has an article about online cooperation in solving a Math problem but I was more struck by the interesting twist on Pascal's Triangle: Rascal's Triangle.

Finally, here's a great cartoon from lukesurl.com. Hat tip to Murray at squareCircleZ.

Have a great week.

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