Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Wild About Math bloggers 2/25/11

Welcome to the 2/25 edition of Wild About Math bloggers!

Shecky identifies two 'bite size' Math books.

There are a lot of 'bite-size' books out now that introduce readers to a range of key mathematical ideas without getting too technical or too deep (but not too simplistic either). Thought I'd just mention two of the ones I particularly like for anyone not already familiar with them

One of the books he mentions, 50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need To Know, is a really excellent book. The other, Mathematics: A Brief Insight, is one I'm not familiar with.

Have you ever heard of nomograms? If not then you're in for a treat. Ron at Dead Reckonings reviews a new book, The History and Development of Nomography. Ron also has a nice introduction to nomography here.

James Tanton has a nice 3-part video on Curry's paradox and on area. Here's part one.

Murray at squareCircleZ recommends MathJAX for rendering Math on browsers, and compares it to other rendering systems.

CTK Insights has a nice illustration of how the area and circumference of a circle are related. The second illustration, peeling the circles, is of particular interest to me as I hadn't seen that one before.

jd2718 has a cute trig problem that's harder than it looks:

Solve: cos2x + cos4x + cos6x = 0

Science News has an interesting article, How Nature's Patterns Form. The article could have been named "Patterns of patterns."

"Most patterns you see, including the ones on sand dunes or fish or tigers or leopards or in the laboratory -- even the defects in the patterns -- have many universal features," said Newell, a Regents' Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona.

I'll leave you with an old chestnut, posted by Brent at Math Less Traveled.

A certain math class meets every weekday. One Friday at the end of class, the professor tells the class that sometime during the next week, they are going to have a surprise quiz. “I am not going to tell you on what day the quiz will be,” she says. “The only thing I will say for sure is that it will be a surprise—you will not know what day the quiz will be until the moment I hand it out at the beginning of class.”

When will the quiz be?

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