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# Category Archives: logic

## Ways to prove a bijection

You have a function and want to prove it is a bijection. What can you do? By the book A bijection is defined as a function which is both one-to-one and onto. So prove that is one-to-one, and prove that … Continue reading

Posted in logic, proof
Tagged bijection, finite, function, injection, invertible, one-to-one, onto, proof, surjection
7 Comments

## One-sided inverses, surjections, and injections

Several commenters correctly answered the question from my previous post: if we have a function and such that for every , then is not necessarily invertible. Here are a few counterexamples: Commenter Buddha Buck came up with probably the simplest … Continue reading

Posted in logic
Tagged bijection, function, injection, invertible, one-to-one, onto, surjection
1 Comment

## Test your intuition: bijections

Suppose we have sets and and a function (that is, ’s domain is and its codomain is ). Suppose there is another function such that for every . Is necessarily a bijection? That is, does necessarily match up each element … Continue reading

## The wizard’s rational puzzle (solutions, part 2)

At long last, here is the solution I had in mind for the Wizard’s rational puzzle. Recall that the goal is to figure out the numerator and denominator of a secret rational number, if all we are allowed to do … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, logic, programming, puzzles, solutions
Tagged arithmetic, binary, denominator, Euclidean, gcd, logarithm, numerator, puzzle, rational, search, wizard
Comments Off on The wizard’s rational puzzle (solutions, part 2)

## The wizard’s rational puzzle (solutions, part 1)

About two and a half months ago I posted a challenge involving a sadistic math wizard, metal cubes containing rational numbers, and a room full of strange machines. I’ve been remiss in following up with some solutions. (Go read the … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, logic, programming, puzzles, solutions
Tagged arithmetic, denominator, Euclidean, gcd, logarithm, numerator, puzzle, rational, wizard
3 Comments

## The wizard’s rational puzzle (mind your p’s and q’s!)

You have been abducted by a sadistic math wizard (don’t you hate it when that happens?). He ushers you into a plain but cozy-looking room, with a hardwood floor, a few exotic-looking rugs, and wood paneling on the walls. He … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, logic, programming, puzzles
Tagged arithmetic, denominator, numerator, puzzle, rational, wizard
15 Comments

## Book review: Roads to Infinity

What is infinity? What is proof? These are two of the biggest questions mathematicians have grappled with over the years. In this well-written and fascinating book, John Stillwell takes us on a tour through some of the answers to these … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, books, computation, induction, infinity, logic, proof, review
Tagged infinity, John Stillwell, proof, roads
Comments Off on Book review: Roads to Infinity

## Manufactoria

A friend of mine just pointed me to a most excellent puzzle game, Manufactoria, wherein you build little machines to test robots. For now I won’t give away the secret of what real math/computer science topic the game teaches you, … Continue reading

## The haybaler

At Penn Alexander’s math club yesterday, the students worked on a fun puzzle that I’d never seen before. It goes like this: You have five bales of hay. For some reason, instead of being weighed individually, they were weighed in … Continue reading