July 7, 2006
Volume 11 No. 27

In This Issue

Soccer to Soccer

Football World Cup Simulation


Mathematics Genealogy Project


Soccer to Soccer


If you enjoyed our feature last week of Michael Trott's "Bending a Soccer Ball -- Mathematically," you may also find his "Soccer to Soccer" video intriguing.

This animation visualizes the mathematical construction of a triple-cover of the Riemann sphere. For background material, see


Football World Cup Simulation


Alan Parr explains, "I've always been amazed at the power and the effectiveness of the simulation technique, and whenever possible I've used simulations in mathematics.

"Since I've always loved sport as well, I decided a few years back to see how I could put them together to produce a maths-based World Cup simulation for teachers and pupils to use. The simulation proved very popular in primary and secondary schools....

"[E]ach of us rolls an ordinary die eight times, one for each scoring chance. Every time you roll a 6 you score a goal....

"How realistic [is the resulting distribution of goals]?.... I checked the entire season's results for the Premiership, and was delighted to find that the actual scores were remarkably close...."



In Brian Hayes' weblog, the author of the "American Scientist" Computing Science column elaborates on those articles, posts errata, records notes from conferences in progress, and explores other topics.

The blog dates back to January, 2006, and includes articles such as

  • Sudoku dans la Belle Epoque
        on precursors of sudoku and the puzzle's history
  • Can You Divide by Three?
  • Grepping the Net
  • Life after Algebra
  • Packed Primes
  • The Oddest Numbers
        on Dijkstra's recursive fusc function
  • Summing Up
        research on the popular tale of a schoolboy-aged Gauss
        rapidly summing a long sequence of numbers

The blog offers these and other posts in a category dedicated to mathematics.


See also "American Scientist's" collection of all Hayes' articles published in that magazine of the Sigma XI, the scientific research society.


Mathematics Genealogy Project


As of July 5, 2006 the Mathematics Genealogy Project contains 97,935 records. Each of the searchable database's records includes:

  • the mathematician's name
  • the mathematician's dissertation title and advisor ("parent")
  • doctorate-granting institution
  • the names of the mathematician's own graduate students ("descendants")

The goal of the Mathematics Genealogy Project is to compile information about all of the mathematicians in the world and make the information available online.

The managing director of the Mathematics Genealogy Project is Harry B. Coonce, who notes that "we are trying to help trace the intellectual history of our subject." Dr. Coonce requests that the following information be sent to him for any Ph.D. mathematician not currently included in the list (or for whom there is an incomplete or inaccurate entry):

  • The complete name of the degree recipient
  • The name of the university that awarded the doctorate
  • The year in which the degree was awarded
  • The complete title of the dissertation
  • The complete name(s) of the advisor(s)


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