Category Archives: Recreational Mathematics

The Ramanujan Movie

I saw the Ramanujan Movie and I loved it. “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” came out a few weeks ago, starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan and Jeremy Irons as G.H. Hardy, it was a beautifully told story of what … Continue reading

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How to Celebrate Square Root Day

Apparently today, 4/4/16, is Square Root Day. (I supposed we could also have celebrated 4/2 to have a long Square Root Weekend.) How should a math enthusiast celebrate this holiday, which won’t come again until May 2025? Of course, one option … Continue reading

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Counting Aloud And Other Saucy Things

The best reaction I ever had to telling someone I was a number theorist was “wow, so what’s the highest you’ve ever counted?” Being a number theorist, you can well imagine my response, first lots of laughter, and then “in … Continue reading

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And For The Mathematician Who Has Everything

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but as a mathematician, I’ve been on the receiving end of one too many well-intentioned protractor cases and Π-themed pie plates. And I’ll concede, if you are anything like me, it is likely a … Continue reading

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Getting Primed For Halloween

Maybe it’s the chill in the air or the changing leaves, maybe it’s the ache in my belly from too much candy corn, but whatever the reason, I’ve been in the mood for spooky halloween things this past week. I’ve … Continue reading

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There’s Something about Pentagons

Last month, researchers Casey Mann, Jennifer McLoud, and David Von Derau at the University of Washington Bothell found a new pentagon that tiles the plane, and the crowd went wild. It’s tough for a piece of research mathematics to get … Continue reading

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Getting Warmer…

I’m currently teaching a summer school for high school students. Our main focus is number theory and its applications to cryptology, but I like to start each morning with some kind of warm-up math puzzle or game. I know plenty … Continue reading

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How To Optimize Summer Travel And Not Get Blown Up

Every year I promise myself that I’ll just stay in one place for the summer, and every year that simply doesn’t happen. Today I’m posting from CIRM in Marseille, France. Next week I’m headed to Hong Kong to visit with … Continue reading

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Math For Your Ears

It is undeniable: podcasts are having a moment. The burgeoning podcast culture being shaped by the Radio Labs, 99% Invisibles, and Freakanomics Radios of the world, has gotten me thinking about some of the particular hardships of adapting pure mathematics … Continue reading

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Alias, Schmalias

While the great line from Romeo and Juliet: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” rings true, would a digital rose smell as sweet?  We often think of the digital world as a mere “renaming” of the … Continue reading

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