CTK Insights

Archive for September, 2011

30 Sep

Thought provokers to start a class with

TweetAt the beginning of his career, Doug Rohrer - presently Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida - was a math teacher. As such, he was used to begin his mathematics classes with thought provokers, the kind of puzzles that are intrinsically provocative and whose solution - often surprising - does not require […]

19 Sep

The leapfrog problem - who is right?

Tweet In chapter 7 of his book Number-Crunching Paul Nahin treats a "Leapfrog" problem posed by M. Schwartz from Ventura, CA, to Marylin von Savant in her "Ask Marylin" column: A friend and I once went from his house to mine with one bike. I started walking and he rode the bike. When he got […]

14 Sep

By Wit of Woman

TweetBy Wit of Woman is a novel by Arthur Marchmont (1852-1923), a popular author who wrote around the turn of the 20th century. He penned several best-sellers, By Wit of Woman among them. The book is written in the name of a young woman who set out to clear her father's name. I just came […]

13 Sep

The shortest path between two points in a plane

Tweet One of the first challenge problems Paul H. Nahin offers in his new book comes from his experience as a freshman at Stanford. This is a nice yarn. When I was a freshman at Stanford I did well enough during the first two terms of calculus to be allowed to transfer into the honors […]

11 Sep

Physics Minus Mathematics: The Week of Creation

Tweet Author Paul H. Nahin tells in Introduction to his new book how on several occasions the Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman spoke condescendingly of mathematics. Nahin suggests that "Mathematics is trivial, but I can't do my work without it" may have been a joke and should not be taken too seriously. He may be […]

09 Sep

Pythagorean Guess

TweetA frequently cited math curiosity relates the relative increase in the rope length between the rope laid on the Earth's equator and that around an average size watermelon. In both case the sought increase in length is due to the uniform expansion of the rope to, say, 1 ft away from the surface. It often […]

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