QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “God Made the Integers. All Else is the Work of Man”
… or so thought Leopold Kronecker (1823-1891) in his famous quote. WHY KRONECKER WAS WRONG: the integers (whole numbers) include the Positive Integers or “counting numbers” 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on: easy for a child to understand. We could quite reasonably argue they are “made by God”. But the integers also include zero,
In statistics, these wonderful techniques allow us to use some data that we have collected to make predictions and conclusions about the real world. AN EXAMPLE: Amy and Bill are playing snakes and ladders, but Amy thinks Bill is cheating because he keeps rolling a six. Bill insists he is just being lucky. They decide
Factorials are so cool that the notation is: AN EXCLAMATION MARK!!!! The exclamation mark means something very specific in maths. It’s great to be impressed with numbers, but please do not put an exclamation mark after a number just to show that it’s really cool. WHAT IS IT? n Factorial (written $n!$) means the product
WORD OF THE WEEK: INDEX
INDEX (plural indices): you can see these in expressions like $5^2 = 25$. The 5 is called the BASE, the 2 is called the EXPONENT or INDEX, and the 25 is called a power (in this case it’s a power of 5).
GEOMETRY PUZZLE: WHAT SHAPE DO YOU SEE?
TRICKY TILINGS: Tiling stores are like treasure troves of geometrical amusement. Here’s a photo I took yesterday. The puzzle is simply: what shape(s) do you see? ANSWER: ….
WORD OF THE WEEK: TRIGONOMETRY
TRIGONOMETRY is the branch of maths to do with sin, cos and tan (find them on your calculator). Literally it means “measuring triangles” – so you can use these three functions to find unknown lengths and angles. Sin is short for “sine” – which is why it should be pronounced “sign” not “sinn”. Cos and
CURIOUS LOGIC: on one side of a postcard are written the words “the sentence on the other side is true”. You turn over the card to see the words “the sentence on the other side is false”. Which of the two sentences, if either, is the true statement? – Head over to the Blog page to find out the answer.