michelledelcourt

Just another WordPress.com site

Could Shakespeare Have Calculated the Odds in Hamlet’s Wager?

During Act V, Scene 2 of Hamlet, Hamlet’s uncle Cladius wagers that Hamlet will win in a duel with Laertes.  In order to make sure that Hamlet participates, Cladius “places … Continue reading

Featured · Leave a comment

Geology and Geometry

Many geometric solids actually occur in nature.  Mineral crystals grow into regular, geometric shapes.   Tetrahedrons Tetrahedrite forms regular tetrahedral shaped crystals.  It was first described around 1845 in Germany and is … Continue reading

December 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Collaboration Graph and Mathematical Genealogy

definition(Erdős number): Paul Erdős has an Erdős number of zero. Everyone else has Erdős number k + 1 where k is the lowest Erdős number of any coauthor.  Anyone with no coauthorship chain connected to … Continue reading

April 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Mathematician’s Lament

In 2002 Paul Lockhart wrote an article A Mathematician’s Lament.  His article is a thought provoking critique of the K-12 education system’s math curriculum.  It can be found here: http://www.maa.org/devlin/lockhartslament.pdfContinue reading

March 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Lesson of Grace in Teaching

The following is the transcript of the MAA Haimo Teaching Award Lecture given by Francis Su at the 2013 Joint Math Meetings: http://mathyawp.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-lesson-of-grace-in-teaching.html  His philosophy towards teaching as well as math is fascinating.  The … Continue reading

March 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs

This is an interesting article in which the Wall Street Journal ranks Mathematician as the best occupation in the U.S.:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123119236117055127.html According to the study, mathematicians fared best in part … Continue reading

March 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

You and Your Research

I recently read a fascinating talk, the transcription of the Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, by Dr. Richard W. Hamming.  Fan Chung was in the audience and the transcription is available … Continue reading

March 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Difficulties of Folding a Map

A rectangular map is a rectangular piece of paper folded along  horizontal and  vertical, evenly-spaced lines forming an  matrix of new identical rectangles. Creating a Map of Arbitrary Dimensions An interesting … Continue reading

January 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

Advice to a Young Mathematician

The art in good mathematics, and mathematics is an art, is to identify and tackle problems that are both interesting and solvable.                 … Continue reading

May 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Two Problems Concerning Dice

The following are two of my favorite recreational math problems. The first time that I encountered this problem was in Béla Bollobás’s book, The Art of Mathematics: Coffee Time in Memphis, which is … Continue reading

April 29, 2012 · Leave a comment