Math Forum | Urban Systemic Initiative

1. The answer to the question.
2. The URL where you found the information
3. A brief description of how you found the answer, including the searcher you used and the keywords you chose.
For the longer questions at the end, you must provide the above information as well as a complete explanation of the answer to the question.

Here's a sample question and answer:

Q. What can you find about the software program QuasiTiler?

1. QuasiTiler draws Penrose tilings and their generalizations. It is a program which is available from the Geometry Center.

3. I searched the Math Forum web site for "quasitiler", and it returned a link to the Gallery of Interactive Geometry (the URL is http://www.geom.umn.edu/apps/gallery.html), and a link for QuasiTiler was the first thing on that page.

### Suggestions for Searching

A good place to search for math topics is The Math Forum's search engine. General searching might start at Metacrawler. Other search engines and collections include Altavista, Yahoo, and Excite.

### The Quick Questions

• Where and when was Pythagoras born?
• Find the name of a mathematician born on your birthday. What area of mathematics did they explore?
• Find out what any one of the following items is or does: Napier's bones, slide rule, quipu, vernier caliper, pantograph, abacus. Finding a picture would be great!
• Who invented zero?
• How many colors appear in every regular bag of plain M&M's? What percent of each color is used in the mix? If my bag contains 15 brown M&M's how many total M&M's would you estimate are in the bag?

• A little bit of Godzilla trivia, for those of you gearing up for the new movie. We don't know much about the monster except the following facts seen in ads. Find out what they mean.
• "His jaw is as wide as this bus."
• "Godzilla is as tall as a 21-story building."

### The "Research" Questions

These longer questions involve more research and more thought.

• Find out where the zip codes 05075, 19070, 92635, and 20252 are. Investigate and explain the barcode system that the post office uses to encode a zip for computer-sorting purposes.
• How could you lay out a baseball field so that you knew it was 100% correct? (Hint: this involves more than simply knowing the distance between things.)
• Is the slope of the pitcher's mound in baseball greater than or less than the maximum slope of a wheelchair ramp, according the Americans with Disabilities Act?
• A recipe for "energy bars" contain 3 cups of grape nuts, 6 ounces of pitted prunes, 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. What percentage of the calories comes from carbohydrates? from fat? from protein? Find out how your favorite breakfast cereal compares.