Tag: puzzle

  • the Reddit (after)effect

    Sunday january 2nd around 18hr NeB-stats went crazy. Referrals clarified that the post ‘What is the knot associated to a prime?’ was picked up at Reddit/math and remained nr.1 for about a day. Now, the dust has settled, so let’s learn from the experience. A Reddit-mention is to a blog what doping is to a […]

  • Olivier Messiaen & Mathieu 12

    To mark the end of 2009 and 6 years of blogging, two musical compositions with a mathematical touch to them. I wish you all a better 2010! Remember from last time that we identified Olivier Messiaen as the ‘Monsieur Modulo’ playing the musical organ at the Bourbaki wedding. This was based on the fact that…

  • When was the Bourbaki wedding?

    It’s great fun trying to decode some of the puns contained in Betti Bourbaki’s wedding invitation. Below a photograph, taken on May 13th 1939, of three of the practical jokers (from left to right : Ralph Boas, Frank Smithies and Andre Weil), the others were Claude Chabauty, Weil’s wife Eveline and Louis Bouckaert (from Louvain).…

  • can -oids save group-theory 101?

    Can one base a group-theory 101 course on the notion of groupoids?

  • sporadic simple games

    About a year ago I did a series of posts on games associated to the Mathieu sporadic group $M_{12} $, starting with a post on Conway’s puzzle M(13), and, continuing with a discussion of mathematical blackjack. The idea at the time was to write a book for a general audience, as discussed at the start…

  • the buckyball symmetries

    The buckyball is without doubt the hottest mahematical object at the moment (at least in Europe). Recall that the buckyball (middle) is a mixed form of two Platonic solids the Icosahedron on the left and the Dodecahedron on the right. For those of you who don’t know anything about football, it is that other ball-game,…

  • exotic chess positions (1)

    Ever tried a chess problem like : White to move, mate in two! Of course you have, and these are pretty easy to solve : you only have to work through the finite list of white first moves and decide whether or not black has a move left preventing mate on the next white move.…

  • the King’s problem on MUBs

    MUBs (for Mutually Unbiased Bases) are quite popular at the moment. Kea is running a mini-series Mutual Unbias as is Carl Brannen. Further, the Perimeter Institute has a good website for its seminars where they offer streaming video (I like their MacromediaFlash format giving video and slides/blackboard shots simultaneously, in distinct windows) including a talk…

  • Archimedes’ stomachion

    The Archimedes codex is a good read, especially when you are (like me) a failed archeologist. The palimpsest (Greek for ‘scraped again’) is the worlds first Kyoto-approved ‘sustainable writing’. Isn’t it great to realize that one of the few surviving texts by Archimedes only made it because some monks recycled an old medieval parchment by…

  • censured post : bloggers’ block

    Below an up-till-now hidden post, written november last year, trying to explain the long blog-silence at neverendingbooks during october-november 2007… A couple of months ago a publisher approached me, out of the blue, to consider writing a book about mathematics for the general audience (in Dutch (?!)). Okay, I brought this on myself hinting at…