Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Wild About Math bloggers 2/11/11

[ The 2/18 edition of Wild About Math bloggers! is at Equalis. ]

Welcome to Wild About Math Bloggers!

Carnival of Mathematics # 74 - The Tungsten Edition - has been published at Walking Randomly. One link of particular interest was A cute result relating to sums of cubes. This article shows a great generalization of the formula: 1^3 + 2^3 + 3^3 + ... + n^3 = (1 + 2 + 3 + ... + n)^2. Be sure to read the comments to make the connection between the well-known result and the generalization.

March 1 is World Maths Day. What is World Maths Day? How does it work? When is the registration deadline? Denise at Let's Play Math tells all.

Irrational Cube has some nice visual illustrations of sums of geometric series. Here's one. Can you figure out what it demonstrates? [ Hat tip to Pat Ballew. ]

God Plays Dice has a nice article, Pixar Mathematics.

Pixar's use of harmonic functions (by David Austin) describes mathematical techniques used by Pixar. Incidentally, apparently there exists something called Pixar University, which I learned when I went to the excellent Pixar exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. As far as I can tell they are not hiring, they're really an internal training program, and anyway I don't know anything about animation. (The exhibit's next stop is in Hong Kong.

Here's a video that illustrates the use of harmonic functions:

Guillermo at Mathematics and Multimedia has news that Microsoft Mathematics is now available for free.

Among others, Microsoft Mathematics has the following tools:

  • Equation Solver. Provides step-by-step solutions to solve equations.
  • Triangle Solver which can be used to investigate and solve problems about triangles.
  • Unit Converter which converts measurements from one unit to another.
  • Grapher which can plot 2d or 3d graphs in the Cartesian plane/space
  • Ink Handwriting Support, which supports handwriting for Tablet PCs.

Ben Vitale at Fun with num3ers has some nice graphical illustrations of the Pythagorean Theorem, the Law of Cosines, and of the basic trig laws for oblique triangles.

Tanya Khovanova has produced a Math Guide to the MIT Mystery Hunt 2011. These look like some pretty tough problems.

I'll leave you with a very intriguing exploration from James Tanton on a very interesting property of magic squares, one I've not heard about before.

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