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

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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

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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

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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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