Peter Krautzberger on the web

Carnival of Mathematics 111

The math blogosphere is a friendly and relaxed placed. But there is one rule, I believe, we should all abide by: when The Aperiodical calls, you answer.

And so I’m honored to join the un-secret society of Carnival of Mathematics hosts. Indeed, the list of former and future hosts over at The Aperiodical (who took over the organizational stress two years ago, stepping into the tremendously large footsteps of Mike Croucher of Walking Randomly), this list reads like a who-is-who of true math bloggers (the kind that cares for blogging as a community and art form). If you’re not on it, do yourself a favor and volunteer right now. I’ll wait. Honestly, I will. This post will still be here when you get back; I promise.

Step closer, dear friend. Excitement awaits!

In the time-honored tradition, let us remember that 111 has many marvellous properties. However, if I were forced to name a favorite, I could not decide between the fact that the smallest magic square containing 1 and otherwise prime numbers, has a magical constant of 111, as well as the simple beauty of being a palindromic number.

  • When you enter our attractions, you are almost unnaturally drawn to an oldie-but-goldie, an attraction worth a visit every time the carnival is in town: John Baez’s Beauty of Roots. As with Vincent Pantaloni (@panlepan) put it: “The best math I stumbled upon this month is this visualisation of polynonmial roots”.

  • Then stop by Antonio Sanchez Chinchon since he shares with us his mnemoneitoR, to translate numbers into easy-to-remember phrases inspired by books to generate funny mnemonic rules.

  • But don’t stop there, wonders await as AP Goucher gives us the elliptic curve calculator, a fixed page paper slide rule using elliptic curves.

  • And while you take a break, make sure to sit down and listen in on Alexandre Borovik’s Math under the Microscope pointing us to this New York Times article on a simple one-time exercise that might prevent community college students from dropping out of math classes.

  • But throw yourself back into the crowds of the carnival because when Colin Beveridge (of Flying Colours Math) was asked why he loves math, he wrote a short and sweet post to make his answer public. As luck will have it, a student asked Stephen Cavadino of cavmaths the very same, and so we can enjoy another answer that might inspire future students to grow their own and personal passion for mathematics.

  • By now you’re hungry and rightfully so. However, if you ever wondered where to place a hot dog stand, and how to adapt when the best customer moves into a motorhome, then fear not – David Orden at Mapping Ignorance will fill your stomach with a great post, taking you from Sylvester’s original question back in 1857 all the way to today’s cutting edge research.

  • With a full belly, let’s head over to the Aperiodical, where Paul Taylor tackled the mind-bending and subtle hidden maths of the Eurovision song contest while Katie Steckles provides us with a recap of Matt Parker’s appearance on the BBC’s consumer moanfest, Watchdog, where Matt helped everyone get their percentages right.

  • And while you leave, why not trust him when the Aperiodical’s Christian Perfect points you in the direction of Nick Berry’s excellent blog DataGenetics, with a post that will introduce you to the wonders of Amidakuji, bringing together braid theory and a very old arcade game.

  • Then go on and follow Katie Steckle to visit Goading the IT geek’s post on the deceivingly simple problem of calculating averages.

  • And if you find yourself in a part of the Carnival you have already visited, why not take a chance and run into Stephen Cavadino’s posts on mathematics on children’s playgrounds and small puzzle on the number 71?

  • Back on the main road through the carnival, you’ll see in the far end Alex’s adventures in numberland, where Alex Bellos has learned from Joseph Mazur how surprisingly new mathematical notation is.

  • And if you like to gamble, dear friend, worry not. The BBC’s Janet Ball can tell you a story that might encourage you, how the (in)famous MIT blackjack team won enormous amounts of money tackling the odds with their mathematical prowess.

  • Behold, the Mechanical Turk is nothing against our next mind-bending adventure as Andrea Hawksley takes you on a dive into Non-Euclidean Chess!

  • After his shocker, cool down a little and enjoy the talented Shecky Riemann sharing with us his interview with passionate math-ed blogger Fawn Nguyen.

  • Nest step into the ghost house at Google+, where Richard Green took everyone on a journey from simply squaring prime numbers to monsters and moonshine and some of the most complex and arduous mathematics of the 20th century.

  • In our version of the house of mirros, behold: Nim and Fractals – what could go better together? The amazing Tany Khovanova provides us with the background on her latest paper with one of her high school students in MIT’s PRIMES project

  • But you obviously cannot get enough! Well, then, we dare you to follow The Aperiodical’s Peter Rowlett into the long, long list of podcasts for university math students. Only the bravest have listened to them all!

  • As immortal challenges go, Chris Burke of (x,why?) celebrates overcoming one: the 30 posts in 30 days blogging challenge with a fine post on the struggle students face with piecewise functions.

  • For the craziest ride of this carnival, be sure to stop by Matifutbol where, just in time for the start of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Herminio’s post on trees and googols at the World Cup will take you on a wild trip to all possible competitions, the Wedderburn-Etherington number and the very edge of the known universe, making you appreciate how simple life will be over the next 4 weeks.

  • If this is too wild, get your dose of World Cup math blogging at Matt Scroggs’s who will tell you how many Panini packages you really need to buy to complete that Panini book you’ve been hiding under your bed all these years.

  • The strongest man in the world cannot resist the powers of set theoretical forcing. And Asaf Karagila will make sure you won’t wrongly use the analogy of field extensions to explain forcing.

  • And as you leave this Carnival behind, excited, exhausted, and content, you might still turn back for that one last ride, that one last attraction. So head over to Patrick Honner / Mr Honner as he takes on the The Grant Wiggins Conceptual Understanding Challenge, allowing us, through his response, a peek into that insightful brain of his.

And so the Carnival comes to an end and we move on. As we must. Always.