Sunday, April 14, 2019

Logic in Cinema



Here are clips of examples of mathematical logic used, whether seriously or humorously, in cinema:


The classic "Battle of Wits" from The Princess Bride:

(Note: for this one you need to click on the link to YouTube -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eZmEiyTo0







A classic from a bit further back, Sarah's Certain Death Riddle from Labyrinth:




And then there's good old British humor in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail:





In Batman II: The Dark Knight, there is a scene in which a spin off on the game theory notion of the Prisoner's Dilemma is played out:

(Note: for this one you need to click on the link to YouTube -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEqfzr-5dBY


Monday, March 11, 2019

Fantastic Fibonacci!





















That Fibonacci guy was really on to something here!!




Monday, March 4, 2019

Largest Primes


List of First 10,000 Primes

http://www.isthe.com/chongo/tech/math/prime/mersenne.html#M43112609


Watch from 1:30 to 12:45





UPDATE - The newest, largest Mersenne prime as of October 10, 2017 was discovered on January 7 of 2016.  It can be found at this link: http://www.mersenne.org/primes/?press=M74207281


This find was announced also in the New York Times (which can be a little more fun to read than a math site).  That article can be found here http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/science/new-biggest-prime-number-mersenne-primes.html?_r=0


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NEWER UPDATE - The above was surpassed on December 7, 2018:

The largest known prime number (as of January 2019) is 282,589,933 − 1, a number with 24,862,048 digits. It was found by Patrick Laroche of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) in 2018

NPR Announcement: https://www.npr.org/2018/12/21/679207604/the-world-has-a-new-largest-known-prime-number







Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rosetta Stone

Knowledge of how to read and write Egyptian Hieroglyphics had been forgotten since shortly before the time of the fall of the Roman Empire.  It was the finding of the Rosetta Stone (a piece of what had been a "stele" engraved with a decree) that allowed Egyptian Hieroglyphics to be deciphered.

The stone was discovered in 1799 by a soldier in Napoleon's army.  When Napoleon went on campaign in Egypt he brought scientists with him, and they recognized the importance of this find.  The stone had an inscription written in three languages: Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Demotic Text (also called "ancient cursive Coptic"), and Ancient Greek.  The Ancient Greek language was known (in fact until a couple of decades ago any truly educated person learned Ancient Greek and also Latin).  The fact that these three languages were expressing the same decree and that one of them was well-understood became the key to unlocking knowledge and understanding that had been lost for more than a thousand years.

Here is the stone, which is now housed in the British Museum in London:


And here I am looking at the stone in 2003 when I had opportunity to travel to England.  Of all the things in London that there were to see, this was definitely on my "Top Ten" list!


POST SCRIPT:  Since that 2003 trip I have taken an additional trip to London in 2016, and I went back to see the Rosetta Stone again, because it's just that awesome.  Here are some pictures a bit closer up:







Monday, February 18, 2019

In Search of Mayan Mathematics














OR

MAYBE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS!




(Working link Fall 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fcaXmpZydI)



WHERE'S THE KABOOM?!
THERE'S SUPPOSED TO BE AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM!
THE ELUDIUM Q36 EXPLOSIVE SPACE MODULATOR!
THE EARTH CREATURE HAS STOLEN IT!





Sunday, February 17, 2019


Mandelbrot Set Zoom




Julia Sets and Mandelbrot Sets




Wednesday, February 6, 2019

MENGER SPONGE - CALVIN AND CAMBRIDGE





The pictures of the Menger Sponge above were taken at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The picture below is a view from a student common room at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University, UK.  You can see a Menger Sponge through the window in a different area of the centre.  Both these institutions of higher learning took part in the Mega Menger project - a world-wide event in which people all over the globe built Menger Sponges.  If you want to learn more about the project and see a map of all the places in the world where these were built, click on this link.



Sunday, February 3, 2019

MONSTERS AND NATURE