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Registered: 12/3/04
Theorems to Ice Cream, Computational Thinking to Bananas
Posted: Aug 4, 2017 10:14 AM
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August 4, 2017 Vol. 22, No. 31


My Favorite Theorem | Theorem of the Day
Student Projects from the Wolfram Summer Camp



Last Thursday, a pair of mathematicians launched a new podcast.

On "My Favorite Theorem," hosts Kevin Knudson and Evelyn Lamb
talk to a guest about a personally compelling result. In the
course of less than 25 minutes' conversation, they often touch
upon that theorem's historical context, related work, the
guest's own career path, and other personal connections
and anecdotes.

At the end of every segment, guests take their favorite
theorems and pair them with something -- which Lamb has
suggested might take the form of "the perfect wine, or ice
cream, or work of 19th century German romanticism."

The first few podcasts have paired--

- the Ham Sandwich Theorem with a pale ale;
- the Uniformization Theorem with Neapolitan ice cream;
- the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus with "something
like a mango"; and
- the Circle Area Theorem with pizza.

For transcripts, follow the parenthetical "click to expand"
prompts below a given episode from Knudson's archive:

Lamb also embeds the audio clips in rich recaps on her
Scientific American blog, which further provide visuals and
links to more resources:

The duo tweet out updates via



Robin Whitty has added over 150 theorems, lemmas, laws,
formulas, and identities to his gallery since it last appeared
in these pages.

Referring to them as math's "crowning achievements," Whitty has
distilled each result so as to "be appreciated by as wide an
audience as possible." All of his one-page PDFs feature a
diagram or some other instructional illustration; nearly 50
accommodate sketches of proofs, as indicated by the green
"QED"s in the main theorem listing.

In addition to complete alphabetical and chronological
listings, organizes theorems by subject and
mathematician (or statistician, physicist, economist, composer,
or computer program). See, in particular, the list of theorems
proven by women:

Whitty also tweets a daily theorem via @theoremoftheday:



What do you get when you unleash teenagers on a programming
language packed with knowledge -- about algorithms and about
the world?

The software company behind Wolfram|Alpha wrapped up its sixth
residential program for high schoolers a month ago. Students
came to Wolfram Summer Camp from a wide range of schools. They
arrived with diverse programming backgrounds, as well; founder
Stephen Wolfram blogged on Wednesday that "quite a few had
never really done anything computational before -- even though
they were often quite advanced in various STEM areas such
as math."

Sparked by twelve days of math lectures and programming
classes, teens went on to code such projects as--

- Teaching Algebra by Generating Hints from Wrong Answers;
- Finding Spikes in Electrophysiological Data from Neurons;
- Using Voronoi Diagrams to Optimize Offensive Schemes; and
- Fully Functional ParametricPlot4D: Curves, Surfaces,
and Volumes.

Beyond sharing their thinking and Mathematica notebook files
with the Wolfram community, some campers took to the Wolfram
Cloud, where they posted simple interactive
microsites, including--

- Analyzing Regular Tilings
- Using Machine Learning to Identify Road Signs
- Is This a Joke? - Humor Detection
- Translating Historic and International Numeral Systems
- A Cryptographic Hash Code Algorithm Based on Cellular Automata
- A Banana Classifier

Catch up on the past five summers of young computational
thinkers and their projects by scrolling down and clicking
through the "class archives" links, to the right of the orange
vertical divider:

To learn more about the knowledge-based programming used by the
high schoolers, visit



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