Solving Conference Realignment Mathematically

June 14, 2010

When I read this article at, I immediately thought of this site.

So, how y’all been?


Mobius Bagel

December 7, 2009

How to cut a bagel into interlocking halves.

When Zombies Attack!

August 15, 2009

Mathematicians at Carlton University (which a Canadian friend of mine has described as the country’s “last chance” school) have studied the way a zombie outbreak would occur, and what human strategies would work in stemming the tide. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for us. The entire paper is amusing, but I especially enjoy the introduction that establishes the difference between zombie folklore and “Hollywood” zombies.

They Play Football at Duke?

August 5, 2008

A couple of quick-shots as you watch your favorite baseball team fall further and further from contention. (So this is what it feels like, Joe?)

A Post by John About Baseball

April 2, 2008

I meant to do this yesterday, when it would have been more believable, but here I am on a regular old day writing about baseball. In case you missed it, non-linear dynamics guru Steven Strogatz and graduate student Samuel Arbesman had a paper in the New York Times on using a game simulator to simulate every at bat for all of baseball 10,000 times. They then used this artificial data set to look for trends, including a really cool distribution of hitting streak records (the real record of 56 games is held by Joe DiMaggio). Apparently DiMaggio’s record — according to Wikipedia, “the top American sports feat of all time” — was actually to be expected. In the 10,000 samples the median record was 53 games. Read the rest of this entry »

A Really Big Number

March 8, 2008

This week’s Car Talk puzzler has me stumped.

A student is asked if the following number is a perfect square: 334,912,740,121,562. Crusty knows the answer immediately. What does Crusty know?

Music Charts

March 2, 2008

This couldn’t wait until Music Monday.All You Need Is Love

  1. Choose a song.
  2. Find a mathematical way to express the meaning of the song.
  3. Create a chart.