What's the probability that two students in a class of 23 have a birthday on the same day? Surprising over 50%!! Three famous mathematical paxadoxes from Sci Am: Hilbert’s Hotel, Birthday Paradox, and Russell’s Antinomy. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/three-of-the-strangest-paradoxes-in-mathematics

Teaching a #calculus III course this fall that includes sequences and #series. In resources, I typically (externally) link to three different "flowcharts" that each asks yes/no Qs that students use to help them decide which #SeriesTest would work in determining if a series is #convergent or #divergent (example below).

However, the three I typically share don't pass accessibility standards (tagged PDF, headers, colour contrast, etc). I hate to recommend them if they aren't an #accessible document. Does anyone happen to have online a Series Test Flowchart that is accessible?

"...possible breakthrough in a very old, very sticky problem in number theory. #RiemannsHypothesis —concerning the distribution of prime numbers throughout the number line — dates back over 160 years. While the new paper doesn’t purport to solve the problem, it could be a substantial step toward a solution. That could enable other number theorists to keep taking steps toward solving it, and (perhaps more importantly) winning a $1 million prize." https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/math/a61491065/mathematicians-close-to-solving-notorious-math-problem-riemann-hypothesis/ The seven #MillenniumProblems: https://www.claymath.org/millennium-problems/

Fundamental Theorem of Calculus lovers read this! "The Clausen function can be defined in terms of its Fourier series" https://www.johndcook.com/blog/2024/07/01/the-clausen-function/

Attn Calc II students: Saw this integral on Stack Exchange today: \( \int_{0}^{2\pi}\sin(x)\sin(2x)\sin(3x)\sin(4x)\ dx=\frac{\pi}{4} \) Wolfram Alpha confirms https://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=int_0%5E%282pi%29+%28sin%28x%29+sin%282x%29+sin%283x%29+sin%284x%29%29+dx So can it be generalized? Yes! Find integral over [0,2pi] of the product of sin(kx), k=1 to n. Discuss in class! (Or over dinner ;-)

"Bogs and other peatlands occupy around 3% of Earth’s land. Yet they manage to pack away twice as much carbon as all the planet’s trees. If that carbon were released, atmospheric carbon dioxide would double, with potentially disastrous consequences for humans and many other species."

Mathematicians took on the task of modeling the size/shape of bogs to get good estimates of the potential dangers.

"The bog’s shape seemed to be essentially governed by the physics of the water table. The researchers found that they could mathematically model the shape of the bog by solving a widely used equation named for the 19th-century mathematician Siméon-Denis Poisson that allowed them to approximate a bog’s depth given only the shape of its boundary."

Attn College Algebra students. ln(x) can be approximated by 2(x-1)/(x+1) and log(x) can be approximated by (x-1)/(x+1). (Try some x-values!) And yet ln(x) is not twice log(x). What's going on here? John D. Cook has useful information about the approximation error here. Watch the scale on the graphs provided. https://www.johndcook.com/blog/2024/05/12/logarithm-approximation-error/ Image source: John D. Cook

RIP Jim Simons. Mathematician, Billionaire, Philanthropist. He will be missed.

Here Jim provides a short story of his life in mathematics at Abel Prize week in 2022. "I made a lot of money and gave it all away." "I was lucky enough to solve the problem through ambient dimension 7, but in dimension 8 my proof didn't work." So weird, but a common difficulty!

This is a month late but still worthy math fun. Stolen from MAA's fantastic Math Horizon magazine merely for educational purposes :)

Happy anniversary of birth to Carl Friedrich Gauss, one of the most prolific mathematicians of all time (b. April 30, 1777).

A fun fact about Gauss is that he figured out a way to draw a 17-sided polygon using only a ruler and compass. "The proof rested on a profound analysis of the factorization of polynomial equations and opened the door to later ideas of Galois theory." (source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Carl-Friedrich-Gauss image source: https://doodles.google/doodle/johann-carl-friedrich-gaus-241st-birthday/)

Attn Calc II students: This is a fun little integral. \( \int 2^{\ln(x)}dx \) A substitition \( u=\ln(x) \) won't work since there is no \( \frac{1}{x} \) to make the match. #integration #exponentiation

Think about before reading on.

Nifty trick! Since \( 2=e^{\ln(2)} \), then \( 2^{\ln(x)} = (e^{\ln(2)})^{\ln(x)}=(e^{\ln(x)})^{\ln(2)}=x^{\ln(2)} \)

Now the integral becomes \( \int x^{\ln(2)}dx = \frac{1}{1+ln(2)} x^{1+\ln(2)} + C \)

Swapping from an constant-to-variable to a variable-to-constant made a world of difference. Sweet!

Do you use your iPhone Calculator app for quick calculations? In case you didn't know, rotate your phone to landscape and it becomes a scientific calculator with radicals, exponentials, logarithms, trig functions, even hyperbolic trig functions.

Press "2nd" to get more functions including log-base-b, inverse trigs, inverse hyperbolic trigs.

One more hack: Entering numbers into the command line and mess up? No need to "C" clear all, just swipe right on the command line to delete the previous digit.

While DESMOS app and GeoGebra Apps are amazing for graphing, the built-in Calculator app on iPhone is handy! I keep it in my Control Center for easy access.

Quick read on the history of the decimal point from Scientific American mag.

"The decimal point was a step forward for humanity, enabling the ease and efficiency of calculations that underpin modern science and technology."

Good mix of history and modern technology (Mathematica):

Solve x/(y+z)+y/(x+z)+z/(x+y)=4 where x, y, z are positive whole numbers. This problem going around the web (https://blog.computationalcomplexity.org/2024/04/a-math-question-and-meta-question.html) interestingly IS able to be solved by Perplexity AI, but Genesis AI and ChatGPT each conclude "no solution".

SPOILER! Solution from Perplexity AI:

The equation x/(y+z) + y/(x+z) + z/(x+y) = 4, where x, y, z are positive integers, is a challenging Diophantine equation that has puzzled mathematicians for a long time. The smallest known solution to this equation is:

x = 36875131794129999827197811565225474825492979968971970996283137471637224634055579

y = 36875131794129999827197811565225474825492979968971970996283137471637224634055579

z = -36875131794129999827197811565225474825492979968971970996283137471637224634055579

This solution was found by the mathematicians Andrew Bremner and Allan MacLeod, and published in their 2014 paper "An unusual cubic representation problem".

Fun and informative spring break sci-fi watch on Netflix: "The Three-Body Problem".

Background info on the #mathematics #astronomy #physics and movie review: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240328-the-science-astronomy-and-mathematics-of-netflixs-3-body-problem-tv-show

Jin (Jess Hong) explains the Three-Body Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMJ7qUihfaY

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

"On October 16, 1843, the great Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton was walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin. He had been pondering for a long time whether complex numbers could be extended to higher dimensions. During his perambulation, he realized the answer was “yes”, and carved his solution on the Brougham Bridge. The plaque shown [below] commemorates the discovery." #ComplexNumbers #quaternions

https://galileospendulum.org/2013/03/17/irish-mathematics-for-st-patricks-day/

The title is a bit hyperbolic (pun intended) but I suspect there is at least one item of interest to you.

Happy π Day!

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2418890-these-7-mathematical-facts-will-blow-your-mind/

I've played #Tetris since 1984 on a black-and-white "portable" Tele-DOS computer (whose "hard" drive was on a 5.25" floppy disk, no kidding). Good article noting the real-world usefulness of transformational #geometry and optimization in architecture, engineering, animation, graphic designing, calculus, differential geometry, business, and more. "All of these advanced topics use the same concepts as the simple moves of Tetris."

https://phys.org/news/2024-02-play-tetris-architects-animators-alike.html