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.
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.
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:
"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."