The Scottish sketch comedy series *Limmy’s Show!* explores that classic riddle in the best way possible. As someone wrote on Tumblr, “This is me during every moment of math class.”

The Scottish sketch comedy series *Limmy’s Show!* explores that classic riddle in the best way possible. As someone wrote on Tumblr, “This is me during every moment of math class.”

Swirling a ball in a cup gets it spinning in the direction of the swirl, but adding six more starts them swirling in the opposite direction.

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Swirling a ball in a cup gets it spinning in the direction of the swirl, but adding six more starts them swirling in the opposite direction.

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It turns out that folding a pizza slice lengthwise to improve its rigidity is a great example of the "Remarkable Theorem" by Gauss. Cliff Stoll explains. (more…)

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It turns out that folding a pizza slice lengthwise to improve its rigidity is a great example of the "Remarkable Theorem" by Gauss. Cliff Stoll explains. (more…)

]]>Data-scientist Kevin H Wilson argues that computers are tools for manipulating data -- from companies' sales data to the input from games controllers -- but we teach computer programming as either a way to make cool stuff (like games) or as a gateway to "rigorous implementation details of complicated language," while we should be focusing on fusing computer and math curriciula to produce a new generation of people who understand how to use computers to plumb numbers to find deep, nuanced truths we can act upon. (more…)

]]>Data-scientist Kevin H Wilson argues that computers are tools for manipulating data -- from companies' sales data to the input from games controllers -- but we teach computer programming as either a way to make cool stuff (like games) or as a gateway to "rigorous implementation details of complicated language," while we should be focusing on fusing computer and math curriciula to produce a new generation of people who understand how to use computers to plumb numbers to find deep, nuanced truths we can act upon. (more…)

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Meet Danica McKellar who as an undergraduate in college co-published a paper titled "Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models on Z2," research that resulted in the Chayes–McKellar–Winn theorem. Oh yeah, before that, McKellar was Winnie on The Wonder Years.

(And just to confirm, Josh Saviano who played Paul Pfeiffer did not grow up to become Marilyn Manson.)

]]>

Meet Danica McKellar who as an undergraduate in college co-published a paper titled "Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models on Z2," research that resulted in the Chayes–McKellar–Winn theorem. Oh yeah, before that, McKellar was Winnie on The Wonder Years.

(And just to confirm, Josh Saviano who played Paul Pfeiffer did not grow up to become Marilyn Manson.)

]]>

Math teacher at Dana Hills High School in southern California, late 1970s. Pitted. So pitted.

Posted by the engaged educator's son on r/OldSchoolCool and making the rounds again. ]]>

Math teacher at Dana Hills High School in southern California, late 1970s. Pitted. So pitted.

Posted by the engaged educator's son on r/OldSchoolCool and making the rounds again. ]]>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOkGC9lCAk

Love Hulten writes, "The Echo Observatory is a handcrafted tribute to fractals and self-similar patterns. It's a mysterious artifact that both generates and visualizes complex mathematical formations, in real-time." (more…)

]]>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOkGC9lCAk

Love Hulten writes, "The Echo Observatory is a handcrafted tribute to fractals and self-similar patterns. It's a mysterious artifact that both generates and visualizes complex mathematical formations, in real-time." (more…)

]]>To celebrate Pi Day (3/14), have fun with MyPiDay, developed last year by Stephen Wolfram and company. Enter your birthday or any other number and see where it first appears in pi.

Background in Wolfram's post here.]]>

To celebrate Pi Day (3/14), have fun with MyPiDay, developed last year by Stephen Wolfram and company. Enter your birthday or any other number and see where it first appears in pi.

Background in Wolfram's post here.]]>

Fast-talking, doodling math genius Vi Hart (previously) really hates Pi Day, and every year, she celebrates her loathing with a fresh video pooping on your 3/14 parade. (more…)

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Fast-talking, doodling math genius Vi Hart (previously) really hates Pi Day, and every year, she celebrates her loathing with a fresh video pooping on your 3/14 parade. (more…)

]]>Andrew Hacker, a professor of both mathematics and political science at Queens University has a new book out, The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions, which makes the case that the inclusion of algebra and calculus in high school curriculum discourages students from learning mathematics, and displaces much more practical mathematical instruction about statistical and risk literacy, which he calls "Statistics for Citizenship." (more…)

]]>Andrew Hacker, a professor of both mathematics and political science at Queens University has a new book out, The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions, which makes the case that the inclusion of algebra and calculus in high school curriculum discourages students from learning mathematics, and displaces much more practical mathematical instruction about statistical and risk literacy, which he calls "Statistics for Citizenship." (more…)

]]>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCOHD2RBsRY&feature=youtu.be

Samuel writes, "The mathematics podcast Relatively Prime (previously) is currently running a Kickstarter to fund a third season, this time with monthly episode. The episodes will features stories about how network theory can help better understand cancer, how a marijuana dispensary license lottery is designed, and the act of mathematical vandalism which liberated algebra from the shackles of arithmetic. There really aren't any other mathematics podcasts out there like Relatively Prime and if the Kickstarter is not funded there really won't be any at all." (more…)

]]>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCOHD2RBsRY&feature=youtu.be

Samuel writes, "The mathematics podcast Relatively Prime (previously) is currently running a Kickstarter to fund a third season, this time with monthly episode. The episodes will features stories about how network theory can help better understand cancer, how a marijuana dispensary license lottery is designed, and the act of mathematical vandalism which liberated algebra from the shackles of arithmetic. There really aren't any other mathematics podcasts out there like Relatively Prime and if the Kickstarter is not funded there really won't be any at all." (more…)

]]>Researchers have taken a second look at the NSA SKYNET leaks, as well as the GCHQ data-mining problem book first published on Boing Boing, and concluded that the spy agencies have made elementary errors in their machine-learning techniques, which are used to identify candidates for remote assassination by drone. (more…)

]]>Researchers have taken a second look at the NSA SKYNET leaks, as well as the GCHQ data-mining problem book first published on Boing Boing, and concluded that the spy agencies have made elementary errors in their machine-learning techniques, which are used to identify candidates for remote assassination by drone. (more…)

]]>Evil Mad Scientist Labs have released their latest set of nerdy Valentines ready for you to print, glue on cardstock, and use to win your true love's heart. (more…)

]]>Evil Mad Scientist Labs have released their latest set of nerdy Valentines ready for you to print, glue on cardstock, and use to win your true love's heart. (more…)

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Brian, a graduate student of Applied Mathematics at Columbia University, has a Tumblr called Fouriest Series where he posts his math and physics visualizations. His explanations are clearly written. He also provides the Mathematica code he used to create his animations. From his post about chaos and double pendulums:

Summarized by mathematician Edward Lorenz, "Chaos [is] when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.“ There’s an important distinction to make between a chaotic system and a random system. Given the starting conditions, a chaotic system is entirely deterministic. A random system, on the other hand, is entirely non-deterministic, even when the starting conditions are known. That is, with enough information, the evolution of a chaotic system is entirely predictable, but in a random system there’s no amount of information that would be enough to predict the system’s evolution. The simulations above show two slightly different initial conditions for a double pendulum — an example of a chaotic system. In the left animation both pendulums begin horizontally, and in the right animation the red pendulum begins horizontally and the blue is rotated by 0.1 radians (≈ 5.73°) above the positive x-axis. In both simulations, all of the pendulums begin from rest.

*[via]*
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Brian, a graduate student of Applied Mathematics at Columbia University, has a Tumblr called Fouriest Series where he posts his math and physics visualizations. His explanations are clearly written. He also provides the Mathematica code he used to create his animations. From his post about chaos and double pendulums:

Summarized by mathematician Edward Lorenz, "Chaos [is] when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.“ There’s an important distinction to make between a chaotic system and a random system. Given the starting conditions, a chaotic system is entirely deterministic. A random system, on the other hand, is entirely non-deterministic, even when the starting conditions are known. That is, with enough information, the evolution of a chaotic system is entirely predictable, but in a random system there’s no amount of information that would be enough to predict the system’s evolution. The simulations above show two slightly different initial conditions for a double pendulum — an example of a chaotic system. In the left animation both pendulums begin horizontally, and in the right animation the red pendulum begins horizontally and the blue is rotated by 0.1 radians (≈ 5.73°) above the positive x-axis. In both simulations, all of the pendulums begin from rest.

*[via]*
]]>

Writing in Slate, Cathy "Weapons of Math Destruction" O'Neill, a skeptical data-scientist, describes the ways that Big Data intersects with ethical considerations. (more…)

]]>Writing in Slate, Cathy "Weapons of Math Destruction" O'Neill, a skeptical data-scientist, describes the ways that Big Data intersects with ethical considerations. (more…)

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In his weekly address, President Barack Obama this week pledged $4 billion in federal funding for computer science education in schools throughout the nation.

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In his weekly address, President Barack Obama this week pledged $4 billion in federal funding for computer science education in schools throughout the nation.

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Rodney sez, "Wayne Pollock, a Computer Science instructor at Hillsborough Community College (FL), has this on his office wall. He says, 'I had that idea years ago, and my dad made the darn thing one year as a gift.'"
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Rodney sez, "Wayne Pollock, a Computer Science instructor at Hillsborough Community College (FL), has this on his office wall. He says, 'I had that idea years ago, and my dad made the darn thing one year as a gift.'"
]]>

In a gorgeous animation, Malin Christersson shows how much simpler it is to plot out celestial mechanics when you assume that all the bodies in our solar system are in orbit around the sun, rather than the other way around. (more…)

]]>In a gorgeous animation, Malin Christersson shows how much simpler it is to plot out celestial mechanics when you assume that all the bodies in our solar system are in orbit around the sun, rather than the other way around. (more…)

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I have vague memories of my older scientist brother Mark wearing a slide rule in a leather case on his belt. It was really one of the first wearable computers, albeit a mechanical, analog one. Then in 1974, he was able to purchase a Texas Instruments SR-50, the first mass-market commercial electronic calculator. The slide rule was buried in Mark's desk drawer, where the SR-50, and later his Sharp Wizard, Palm Pilot, and their descendants would ultimately end up as well. (Mark died wearing a calculator wristwatch!)

In this episode of Numberphile, Alex Bellos explains the seduction of the slide rule and also the Halden Calculex, a device he calls the "iPhone of Slide Rules."

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I have vague memories of my older scientist brother Mark wearing a slide rule in a leather case on his belt. It was really one of the first wearable computers, albeit a mechanical, analog one. Then in 1974, he was able to purchase a Texas Instruments SR-50, the first mass-market commercial electronic calculator. The slide rule was buried in Mark's desk drawer, where the SR-50, and later his Sharp Wizard, Palm Pilot, and their descendants would ultimately end up as well. (Mark died wearing a calculator wristwatch!)

In this episode of Numberphile, Alex Bellos explains the seduction of the slide rule and also the Halden Calculex, a device he calls the "iPhone of Slide Rules."

]]>

From 1966, René Jodoin's beautiful minimalist animation of a geometric ballet, "Notes on a Triangle." Jodoin, who died earlier this year, was founder of the National Film Board of Canada's animation studio. "Note on a Triangle" was only one of several films meant as an introduction to geometric forms. See more here.

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From 1966, René Jodoin's beautiful minimalist animation of a geometric ballet, "Notes on a Triangle." Jodoin, who died earlier this year, was founder of the National Film Board of Canada's animation studio. "Note on a Triangle" was only one of several films meant as an introduction to geometric forms. See more here.

]]>

Phillip Rogaway, an eminent computer scientist and cryptographer at UC Davis, has made a stir in information security circles with a long, thoughtful paper called The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work. (more…)

]]>Phillip Rogaway, an eminent computer scientist and cryptographer at UC Davis, has made a stir in information security circles with a long, thoughtful paper called The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work. (more…)

]]>I hope the teacher didn't mark it wrong. *[via]*]]>

I hope the teacher didn't mark it wrong. *[via]*]]>

LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.

]]>LA Makerspace co-founder Tara Tiger Brown shares a project that her kid-friendly maker workshop is trying to make a reality.

]]>Twenty years ago, Texas Instruments released the TI-83 graphing calculator, a stupidly expensive piece of old technology that most high schools still require their juniors and seniors buy for around $100. Why? Because. That's why. From Mic.com:

Pearson textbooks feature illustrations of TI-series calculators alongside chapters so students can use their TI calculator in conjunction with the lesson plan. The calculators also have a significant learning curve, and moving students over to new technology is a risky proposition when success in the classroom is so tied to the technology being used.

TI calculators have been a constant, essential staple in the slow-moving public education sector. Students and teachers are so used to generations of students learning the familiar button combos and menu options that TI provides a computer program that perfectly resembles the button layout of the TI-83.

However, even if teachers wanted to be bold and bring in better technology, they would end up right back at square one because of that infamous force in American education: standardized testing.

College Board and other companies that administer the country's standardized tests have approved lists of calculators. TI-series devices are ubiquitous — mobile apps are nowhere to be found.

"I'm actually at the point now where when I do parent conferences, I tell the parents it's in their students' best interest to buy one, because the device will become necessary," Bob Lochel, a math teacher in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, told Mic. "But you feel dirty, because you're telling parents they need to buy a device, and I know I can teach without it."

"Remember Your Old Graphing Calculator? It Still Costs a Fortune — Here's Why" *(Mic.com)*

Twenty years ago, Texas Instruments released the TI-83 graphing calculator, a stupidly expensive piece of old technology that most high schools still require their juniors and seniors buy for around $100. Why? Because. That's why. From Mic.com:

Pearson textbooks feature illustrations of TI-series calculators alongside chapters so students can use their TI calculator in conjunction with the lesson plan. The calculators also have a significant learning curve, and moving students over to new technology is a risky proposition when success in the classroom is so tied to the technology being used.

TI calculators have been a constant, essential staple in the slow-moving public education sector. Students and teachers are so used to generations of students learning the familiar button combos and menu options that TI provides a computer program that perfectly resembles the button layout of the TI-83.

However, even if teachers wanted to be bold and bring in better technology, they would end up right back at square one because of that infamous force in American education: standardized testing.

College Board and other companies that administer the country's standardized tests have approved lists of calculators. TI-series devices are ubiquitous — mobile apps are nowhere to be found.

"I'm actually at the point now where when I do parent conferences, I tell the parents it's in their students' best interest to buy one, because the device will become necessary," Bob Lochel, a math teacher in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, told Mic. "But you feel dirty, because you're telling parents they need to buy a device, and I know I can teach without it."

"Remember Your Old Graphing Calculator? It Still Costs a Fortune — Here's Why" *(Mic.com)*

"Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric," said Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee when he announced his bid for the Oval Office. CNN interviews John Bemelmans Marciano, author of Whatever Happened to the Metric System?, about why the US is the only industrialized nation not to use the metric system in business, or most other fields. *(Above, U.S. Office of Education public service announcement from 1978.)* From CNN:

"People say the metric system makes sense," Marciano says, "But in nature we don't think about dividing things by 10, do we? We think of halves and feet and thirds."

Acres, for instance, were based on the amount of land a man could plow in a day.

"Throughout history we have measured things by ourselves," Marciano says. "We are really losing something with metric."

And another thing: People think the metric system has something to do with science. It doesn't, Marciano says, except that it is used in science and every scientist will probably put forth a convincing argument for why it's silly not to be metric.

"That's the biggest misconception," Marciano says. "The metric system has everything to do with capitalism. It's all about a selling system."

"Refusing to Give an Inch" *(CNN)*

Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet *(Amazon)*

]]>

"Let's be bold -- let's join the rest of the world and go metric," said Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee when he announced his bid for the Oval Office. CNN interviews John Bemelmans Marciano, author of Whatever Happened to the Metric System?, about why the US is the only industrialized nation not to use the metric system in business, or most other fields. *(Above, U.S. Office of Education public service announcement from 1978.)* From CNN:

"People say the metric system makes sense," Marciano says, "But in nature we don't think about dividing things by 10, do we? We think of halves and feet and thirds."

Acres, for instance, were based on the amount of land a man could plow in a day.

"Throughout history we have measured things by ourselves," Marciano says. "We are really losing something with metric."

And another thing: People think the metric system has something to do with science. It doesn't, Marciano says, except that it is used in science and every scientist will probably put forth a convincing argument for why it's silly not to be metric.

"That's the biggest misconception," Marciano says. "The metric system has everything to do with capitalism. It's all about a selling system."

"Refusing to Give an Inch" *(CNN)*

Whatever Happened to the Metric System?: How America Kept Its Feet *(Amazon)*

]]>

Are you too young to remember the television series, *The Wonderful World Of Disney*? It ran once a week and you never knew what you were going to get. It may have been a classic Disney film, a live action tour of the Disney parks or a set of animated shorts.

If you've never seen the show, you're probably also unfamiliar with *Donald In Mathmagic Land*.

Sure the art and storytelling was as beautiful as you'd expect from a Disney production, but this piece was different from the others. Somehow it educated as perfectly as it entertained.

The first time I saw it I took mental notes and patiently waited a long, long time for it to air again. Each week I would pray to the programming gods for my wish to come true and one day it did. This time, I was ready with paper and pencil so that I could take actual notes.

During the cartoon I learned about Pythagoras, the golden ratio and the history of music. But to me, the most important lesson was on the game of billiards. I grew up with a pool table and I played a lot more than any kid should. I read my parent's books on the game, I drained the local library of what they had on the subject but this cartoon taught me more about the table and angles than any book ever could.

I think it was because in the story, Donald Duck himself was learning and playing the game with me. Because it took so long between viewings, Donald and I were evolving together.

And here's the thing...I guarantee that if you are not already an advanced pool player, you will become better just by watching this masterpiece. For me, it turned on a giant light bulb over my head.

See Michael, a passionate collector of artifacts and designer of unique puzzles, at Boing Boing's three-day extravaganza, the Weekend of Wonder, running Sept. 18-20. A weekend of workshops, tech demons and wild performances, there'll be plenty of fun surprises!

I remember running downstairs with my notes to try out the new concepts I had just learned. The angles of the game were no longer a complete mystery after experiencing this magical cartoon. I also found that the new knowledge could be applied to other games that dealt with spheres and angles like racquetball, squash and wallyball. In fact, getting better at that game had an upward spiral effect on other aspects of my life. That game, during difficult times was my best friend.

Once you've seen this animated short you will think about billiards in a whole new way. You may even see shots and angles in your sleep...not that I do.

If you haven't experienced Donald In Mathmagic Land, you don't have to hope and pray for it to be the episode of the week. Just go to Youtube and watch it now.

And if you ever want to play a few games, just look me up.

I'll be the guy at the table with the talking duck.

]]>

Are you too young to remember the television series, *The Wonderful World Of Disney*? It ran once a week and you never knew what you were going to get. It may have been a classic Disney film, a live action tour of the Disney parks or a set of animated shorts.

If you've never seen the show, you're probably also unfamiliar with *Donald In Mathmagic Land*.

Sure the art and storytelling was as beautiful as you'd expect from a Disney production, but this piece was different from the others. Somehow it educated as perfectly as it entertained.

The first time I saw it I took mental notes and patiently waited a long, long time for it to air again. Each week I would pray to the programming gods for my wish to come true and one day it did. This time, I was ready with paper and pencil so that I could take actual notes.

During the cartoon I learned about Pythagoras, the golden ratio and the history of music. But to me, the most important lesson was on the game of billiards. I grew up with a pool table and I played a lot more than any kid should. I read my parent's books on the game, I drained the local library of what they had on the subject but this cartoon taught me more about the table and angles than any book ever could.

I think it was because in the story, Donald Duck himself was learning and playing the game with me. Because it took so long between viewings, Donald and I were evolving together.

And here's the thing...I guarantee that if you are not already an advanced pool player, you will become better just by watching this masterpiece. For me, it turned on a giant light bulb over my head.

See Michael, a passionate collector of artifacts and designer of unique puzzles, at Boing Boing's three-day extravaganza, the Weekend of Wonder, running Sept. 18-20. A weekend of workshops, tech demons and wild performances, there'll be plenty of fun surprises!

I remember running downstairs with my notes to try out the new concepts I had just learned. The angles of the game were no longer a complete mystery after experiencing this magical cartoon. I also found that the new knowledge could be applied to other games that dealt with spheres and angles like racquetball, squash and wallyball. In fact, getting better at that game had an upward spiral effect on other aspects of my life. That game, during difficult times was my best friend.

Once you've seen this animated short you will think about billiards in a whole new way. You may even see shots and angles in your sleep...not that I do.

If you haven't experienced Donald In Mathmagic Land, you don't have to hope and pray for it to be the episode of the week. Just go to Youtube and watch it now.

And if you ever want to play a few games, just look me up.

I'll be the guy at the table with the talking duck.

]]>

“Enjoy the parabolic envelopes that form while those bright, sparkling, parabolic curves are etched into the sky tonight.” —Visualizing Math.
]]>

“Enjoy the parabolic envelopes that form while those bright, sparkling, parabolic curves are etched into the sky tonight.” —Visualizing Math.
]]>

YouTuber Mathologer shares his technique for reassembling a Rubik's Cube inside a glass container. The secret? Magnets! (more…)]]>

YouTuber Mathologer shares his technique for reassembling a Rubik's Cube inside a glass container. The secret? Magnets! (more…)]]>