Math Forum Internet News

Volume 2, Number 14

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 7 April 1997                                 Vol. 2, No. 14

                THE MATH FORUM INTERNET NEWS

Peterson's Articles | MAW - Tarrant | First Use of Math Symbols


             IVARS PETERSON'S MATHLAND ARTICLES

                    http://www.maa.org

A weekly series from Science News writer Ivars Peterson
highlighting links between math and everyday concerns,
hosted by the Mathematical Association of America Website.

Recent articles describe how three people can take longer
to share gossip than four, how you can have your data (M&Ms)
and eat them too, and how a circular table designed by Lewis
Carroll introduced chaos and unpredictability into the game
of billiards.

The MathLand archives provide dozens more topics, from
"Curves and Lying Calculators" and "Pascal's Fractals" to
"Rolling with Reuleaux" (does a manhole cover have to be
round?), "Recycling Topology" (how is the recycling symbol
like a mobius band?), and the story of the first game between
World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and Computer Deep Blue.

Don't miss these informative and entertaining essays on
the world of mathematics.

    http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathland_archives.html


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   MATH AWARENESS WEEK AT TARRANT COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE

http://www.tcjc.cc.tx.us/campus_ne/ne_pages/math/maa/maw97.html

Math Awareness Week is officially scheduled for the week of
April 20-26, 1997, but Tarrant County Junior College in
Fort Worth, Texas celebrated it early.

From March 24-28, students could surf the Net and ask
questions in the lobby of the Arts and Technology Building.
On March 25, instead of its usual annual Sidewalk Graphing
party in which students have been invited to draw their
favorite graphs on the sidewalk in front of the Math
building, organizer Josef Brown decided to try something a
little different. He laid out dots on a grid approximating
a map of major campus buildings, and challenged competitors
to connect the dots in such a way that there would be a path
connecting any two dots. The shortest path submitted won.

http://www.tcjc.cc.tx.us/campus_ne/ne_pages/math/maa/MAW97/graph.htm

Special guest lecturers and a pool tournament rounded out 
the week.

Is your school celebrating Math Awareness Week? It's not
too late to fill out this form and let us know so we can
add you to the MAW website:

   http://mathforum.org/maw/activity.form.html


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 FIRST USE OF VARIOUS SYMBOLS: A MATH-HISTORY DISCUSSION

 http://mathforum.org/epigone/math-history-list/

   It's my job to print the program for a state high
   school math club convention next month, and on the
   cover of the program I want to put columns of
   mathematical symbols running down the left and
   righthand side. I'd also like to put in tiny print
   the name and date for the creator of each symbol,
   and thus I'm asking some of you very knowledgeable
   folks to peruse this list and tell me whether I
   need to make any corrections...
                                       - Jeff Miller


In answer to his March 15 question on the MATH-HISTORY
mailing list, Jeff received a number of generous
responses from Julio Gonzalez Cabillon and others. He
has made the information into a Web page:

    EARLIEST USES OF VARIOUS MATHEMATICAL SYMBOLS

     http://members.aol.com/jeff570/mathsym.html

Jeff writes:

 "This page attempts to show the names of the individuals
  who first used various common mathematical symbols, and
  the dates the symbols first appeared. It is currently
  in a very preliminary form. Additions, comments, and
  corrections are welcome and will be credited."


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