Monthly Archives: January 2012

Quotation for the week: Hilbert

David Hilbert was one of the acknowledged leaders of mathematics in the early 20th century. He’s often associated with the movement to formalise all mathematics on strictly logical principles, so it’s interesting to find him taking a broader perspective: In … Continue reading

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All in the air at once

This is a reminder that the Edinburgh Mathematical Society’s annual Popular Lecture will be held in Edinburgh on the afternoon of Friday 17 February 2012. It will be given by Dr Colin Wright, who specialises in the mathematics of juggling. … Continue reading

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Not waving but gliding

Those of you with an interest in fluid mechanics (and especially those who enjoyed MA415: Waves this year) may be interested to hear about a project to fly gliders to record altitudes by using the lee waves formed downwind of … Continue reading

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Solution to the Russian exam problem

Recall this Russian entrance exam problem… Let be real numbers. If you set equal to any of the numbers , or in the equation , then at least one of the other two numbers will be a root of the … Continue reading

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Simple to state and hard to solve…

Probably the most widely publicised mathematical result of the last few decades was Andrew Wiles’s proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem. What Wiles in fact proved was a far more significant result from which Fermat’s theorem follows, but what caught the … Continue reading

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Quotation for the week: Hildebrand

The chemist and educator Joel Henry Hildebrand was not a mathematician, but this plaintive little limerick may strike a chord with both teachers and students, especially as the new term gets under way. A child of the new generation Refused … Continue reading

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Those two fun fallacies exploded

Here’s how to resolve the two fallacies we presented back in December… 1. The problem of the missing pound is interesting in that there is no problem! Consider: suppose the price of the room were £10. The three men paid … Continue reading

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