Circles wherever you look.

You see a silhouette of a three-dimensional shape. The silhouette is a circle. Then, you turn to get another view. The new silhouette is still a circle, so you turn again. And again. Every time you look at the shape, you see a circular outline.

Is it a sphere?

Continue reading Circles wherever you look.

A Probability Puzzle From Dilbert’s Author

I’ve been reading this book, by Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert. Inside, I found a probability puzzle!

Scott Adams talks about Volleyball games, and how he noticed that the team that reaches 17 first usually wins. (A win in volleyball is 25 points.)

Continue reading A Probability Puzzle From Dilbert’s Author

Americans, Math Says “Your Next President Is….”

[This is a back issue of this site’s newsletter. It was originally sent out in August 2015, but only published online in June 2016]

Remember last week’s email, about elections? If there are two major parties in an election, they both tend to be centrist. That’s because if one shifts left or right, it ends up losing votes to the other. Continue reading Americans, Math Says “Your Next President Is….”

Why Isn’t The Solstice The Warmest/Coldest Day?

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, the summer solstice is the longest. Depending on whether you live north or south of the tropics, these happen around June 20th and December 20th each year – or the other way round.

Continue reading Why Isn’t The Solstice The Warmest/Coldest Day?

Winning The Bedtime Game

John Nash, who recently passed away, won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on game theory. Here’s why.

Imagine you’re a parent, trying to make your three-year-old go to bed. There’s lots of ways you might try to do this, but let’s boil it down to two options: gentle, or firm. Your tiny tot also has two choices: obedient or, shall we say, obstreperous.

Continue reading Winning The Bedtime Game

Coffee and Coconuts

I’ve been playing with word puzzles lately – I want to add some more games to another website I have: Dr Mike’s Word Games for Kids. I don’t talk much about it, because it’s only got two games on it so far … that’s clearly not enough!

Continue reading Coffee and Coconuts

R.I.P. John Nash

John Nash has died, aged 86.

John Nash is most famous for his work on game theory. Game theory tries to understand, mathematically, how people behave in situations where they have to compete or cooperate with another person, like “Rock Scissors Paper”, getting kids to go to bed, house auctions or nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Continue reading R.I.P. John Nash

“My Daughter Doesn’t Like Math”

I got a message today through my facebook page:

My daughter is 10 year old and she does not like math. What stuff online in math should I use to make her interested in maths? Thanks in advance

Continue reading “My Daughter Doesn’t Like Math”

Three Geeky Ways People Celebrated Pi Day 2015

The Pi Day of the century – 3/14/15 9:26:53 having passed, I decided to scrape around the net to find some unusual ways people celebrated the occasion.

Continue reading Three Geeky Ways People Celebrated Pi Day 2015

Fibonacci Flowers

We’ve all heard it – flowers know math. The number of petals on flowers are supposed to all be Fibonacci numbers.

How true is this?

Continue reading Fibonacci Flowers