Category Archives: people

More on Human Randomness

In a post a few months ago I asked whether there is a way for a human to reliably generate truly random numbers. I got a lot of great responses and I think it’s worth summarizing them here! Randomness in … Continue reading

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Human Randomness

Randomness is hard for humans It is notoriously difficult for humans to come up with truly random numbers. I don’t really have any data I can point to in particular, but there are quite a few well-known phenomena that show … Continue reading

Posted in computation, people | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Fibonacci’s Problem of the Birds

I have been enjoying reading Keith Devlin’s new book, Finding Fibonacci. I’ll write more about the book later. For now, I just wanted to share a nice problem I learned about which Leonardo Pisano, aka Fibonacci, included in his book … Continue reading

Posted in algebra, arithmetic, challenges, people | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Book review: Genius at Play

Back in January I mentioned that I had been enjoying Siobhan Roberts’s new biography, Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway. I finally finished it, and can now officially say that I really enjoyed it. This is … Continue reading

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17×17 4-coloring with no monochromatic rectangles

Quick, what’s special about the following picture? As just announced by Bill Gasarch, this is a grid which has been four-colored (that is, each point in the grid has been assigned one of four colors) in such a way that … Continue reading

Posted in open problems, pattern, people, pictures | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Herbert Wilf: 13 June 1931 – 7 January 2012

I was sad to learn that Herbert Wilf died yesterday. Long-time readers of this blog may remember him as one of the discoverers of the Calkin-Wilf tree, which I wrote about in a ten-part series of posts (1, 2, 3, … Continue reading

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Book review: Magical Mathematics

Occasionally someone from Princeton University Press sends me a list of upcoming titles and asks if there are any I’d like to review. I jumped when I saw this one: a book about magic tricks and math! By Persi Diaconis … Continue reading

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Relatively Prime: Stories from the Mathematical Domain

Samuel Hansen needs your help! He’s currently raising money to create a series of podcasts explaining math to a wide audience. From the linked video, it looks like they will be a lot of fun, and I think it would … Continue reading

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The wonderful world of Mike Reilly

The other day I received an email from Mike Reilly, who introduced himself as a professional game and puzzle inventor, and suggested that I might be interested in taking a look at a few of his web sites. I wasn’t … Continue reading

Posted in games, links, people, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vi Hart's math doodles

Vi Hart’s math doodle videos have been making the rounds of the math blogosphere (I heard of them from Denise at Let’s Play Math!). There are four videos so far and they are well worth watching — inspirational, creative, full … Continue reading

Posted in games, humor, links, people, video | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments