Carnival of Mathematics 47, where no, well…
It has become tradition, at the start of each Carnival of Mathematics, to discuss the number of the Carnival. And here I was, all set for 48, not realizing we’d gone off cycle by a week. (Really, I was kind of hoping for 45. I hosted 9, 18, 27, but missed 36…). (Also, 44 would have been cool. My age. # of the new president…)
47 is more impressive in geeky popular culture than in mathematics. Forty odd years ago something of a cult of 47 developed at Pomona College, devoted to noticing occurences of the number, the digits in that order, multiples, etc. Looking for 47s, they found them.
So, what grabs your attention? 47 is of the form 3n – 1 (yawn). It is odious, it is a lucas number, it is a safe prime? The Pythagorean Theorem is the 47th in Euclid’s elements (but something had to be 47th. And something else 48th, right?). Or the outrageous claim that 47 is the quintessential random number…? Or, even better/worse, the recurrence of 47, the string 47, multiples of 47, and even apartment 4-g in just about every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and each of the spin spin off offs that followed?
Today, all hands, the Carnival of Mathematics is going where, well, hm. Sorry. I’ll limit it to headings.
Wesley Crusher (or how we teach our young)
Dave Marain at MathNotations has a wonderful new math contest for high school (and middle school) kids. Sign up is free. The contest is online, probably February 3. Kate at f(t) found that her students were more interested in bouncing a ball than studying exponents, so they studied the bouncing ball. (with solution). Pissed off Teacher is preparing her students for the AP, an exam with different mechanics.
Vulcans (hard stuff)
Rod calculates the distance between two lines in . David (0xDE) compares two ways of looking at a seating problem (ménages problem). At Quomodocumque we read about a leftover problem: n points in the plane with no 3 collinear. Brent of Math Less Traveled calculates Pi through looking at the integer part of its multiples, and gains digits more quickly than it initially seems likely.
And in the category of “if the pictures look so simple, why is the counting so hard?” David (same as above) describes how several families of combinatorial objects can be generated as the collection of complete subgraphs of a graph.
A New Season
Denise at Let’s Play Math celebrates the new year with the 2009 game. Mike at Walking Randomly explores “What is interesting (mathematically) about 2009” And twopi at 360 (come on, you have to smile for that, right?) has both interesting and trivial exploration of the number 2009.
To boldly go… (new work, exploration)
The Carnival of Mathematics features a first: Polymath has blog-published what looks to be an original piece of work: a new proof in plane geometry. The existing proofs are more complicated, and involve trig. Foxmaths seems preoccupied with calculating values that exist, and some that don’t. The value of omega: exists, but it takes so long to find! The solutions to (when we ignore the leftmost digits of F)? The sum of the sin(1) + sin(2) + … + sin(n)?
And Jost a Mon explores the mathematics of sprinting…
The Prime Directive
Zeno of Halfway There is all over bad analysis of the problems with the election in Minnesota. And he has a photo of Spock (scroll down). Edmund at Maxwell’s Demon discusses the responsibilities of mathematicians. Political Calculations uses math as a tool to help you: math can help with a little analysis of the unemployment rate? Perhaps. But math certainly can help plan your wedding invitation list. Twopi catches a pop star misnaming variables.
The Holodeck (Games and puzzles and recreational stuff.)
(I thought about calling this one “dabo” but, seriously, who watched DS9?)
Enterprise (history and old stuff and strange stuff)
Michi on the Chromatic Number of Lichtenstein. John Kemeny has photos of mathematicians … and more of the same … but is looking for their names. They come from Time/Life’s archives. Ξ at 360 found some polygons in the Smithsonian. Any with 7 sides? Look at the photos closely. Vlorbik is having some issues with WordPress’ implementation of TeX.
James T Kirk (for laughs…
and anything else that can’t be taken too seriously)
Ian at Logic Nest recounts some amazing facts demonstrating the amazing intelligence of Karl Gauss, for example, did you know it only takes Gauss 4 minutes to sing “Aleph-Null Bottles of Beer on the Wall”? (silly, but very funny. Don’t skip it.) The images below are from Blig Blug and Friends and (x or why) [seems to have wandered off. But the link remains, and is worth it]. Click the images [or non-image] to see more of their math-related (and non-math related) cartoons.
If you submitted via the carnival tool, and your submission is not here, well, the tool was broken. Sorry.
The next carnival is due January 30… but I don’t know where. If you are host, link back so that readers might track you. And if you are a reader, watch the comments here, or keep an eye out at the Carnival of Mathematics webpage.
All good things…