math

Not a real math problem

The New York Times on mathematicians talking about their hatred for the the 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? “problem.”

Cheryl’s Birthday Problem and Information Filtering

I love seeing teasers about math and logic gain popular appeal! Here’s the math (specifically, logic) problem that the internet is talking about today: You can get the full problem nicely presented on either The Guardian or The New York Times websites. A number of other sites are talking about it today, too. Just Google “Cheryl …

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Meet Zequals, a mental math tool

Can some simple rounding help us be more accurate and confident with mental math? The man behind this symbol proposes just that: And it turns out it’s fairly accurate: Basically, using some simplification of numbers we can do mental multiplication more accurately (generally). Confused by the squiggles and colors? Don’t be intimidated. Read more: Zequals: the new …

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What is a “math person” anyway?

I’m struck by how many people will readily disavow their math skills with a single statement of “I’m not a math person.” You’ve heard it many times from friends, or perhaps from yourself. Maybe you’ve excused your way out of situations requiring calculation, geometrical thinking, or ratios. “I’m not a math person” seems like a …

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RIP Mandelbrot, Father of Fractals

“Mandelbrot set” may sound like complicated math. But many of us already recognize these sets as “fractals” — a term that Dr. Mandelbrot coined. I remember reading about the Mandelbrot set in college. I didn’t realize at the time that Mandelbrot was still alive. Then as I read the New York Times today I came …

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A puzzler

Replace each letter below with a digit to make the math correct: Contact me when you figure it out! (Puzzler courtesy of The Mensa Puzzle Calendar)

Slate.com: Are high schoolers lazy or stupid?

Take a look at this article entitled “They’re Not Stupid—They’re Lazy: The real reason American high-schoolers have such dismal test scores.” It continues to highlight the problems of incentive-driven testing. “When states begin imposing penalties for failure, it makes a difference—sometimes a big one. Look at Texas: In 2004, results counted toward graduation for the …

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