When Will I Ever Use This?

Sep 14

Math + Wobbly Tables

Think you will never use math in the real world? Check out this fix for a table with a bad case of the wobbles via LifeHacker.

Jun 14

Math + Roomates

My father sent over this great article from the New York Times on using fair division to split up rent with roommates when all rooms aren’t equal. Not only is it a nice application of math that guarantees an “envy free” living situation, but the NYT did a bang up job with the graphics. There is a Wolfram like manipulative and they give you a calculator as well. Well done, NYT!

Apr 14

Beauty + Math


Here is a clean well done video that triptych’s the real world, equations that model it, and a graphic representation. It is really well done. Parachutes’ whole Vimeo channel is really nice. Check out the Symmetry-a palimdromic film especially

Apr 14

Brackets + Math


On the heels of UCONN’s surprising win, here is an article about a Davidson professor, who has created a whole course around the mathematics of bracketology. That is a course I’d love to take.

Aug 13

Math + Synesthesia


This is the newest book on my must read list. It is a series of essays by Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant and synesthete, about his perception of mathematics as more closely woven to the phenomenal world. Check out the review from Brain Pickings.

Oct 12

TED + Math

I was searching for something else and got sucked in by this provocatively titled TED vid, Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary. It was a well spent 12 minutes. It basically follows how a middle school math teacher’s answer to the question, When will I ever need this?, has evolved over time.

Feb 12

Imagine Your Scratch Work Sold for $388,375

apollo 13

Commander James Lovell’s arithmetic scratch work in one of the Apollo 13’s manuals sold a little over a year ago for $388,375. Check out this Gizmodo article. Particularly poignant is the transcript of the radio dialogue between Lovell and Houston as he is asking them to check his work. Any slight error could have meant death for the astronauts aboard. Talk about high stakes testing! …also wondering if this is the most valuable mathematical artifact out there?

Apr 11

Easter Ellipse


Here’s a little shout-out to my College Algebra class who deemed the vertically oriented ellipse the “Easter Egg” in last Thurday’s class. I’m not that creative so it really came in handy when I dyed eggs with my daughter. Who says you never use this stuff :)

Jan 11

Math + Cellphones

This blew me away. How could he not convince two people?

Aug 10

Money For Being Mathy

math and money med cropYahoo is unbelievable at targeting distracting articles your way. Every time I’m on their homepage. It requires herculean effort not to click on the latest celeb scandal/news of the weird. Here’s an article that got me: Jobs for Math Lovers that pay $50K + up. I noticed math teacher wasn’t on there…time to get paid more. Also it was interesting that engineers didn’t make it. They definitely made this list of majors that I’d posted previously.

pic by Thalia Twilight Photography