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Roots of Unity

How Not to Be Wrong (Book Review)

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press.

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press. How Not to Be Wrong, the first popular math book by University of Wisconsin-Madison math professor Jordan Ellenberg, just hit the shelves. In addition to a Ph.D. in math, Ellenberg has an MFA in creative writing and has been writing about math [...]

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Roots of Unity

The Roots of Unity Year in Review

Happy birthday to me! Image: Ardfern, via Wikimedia Commons.

A year ago today, I published my first post on this blog! A lot has happened in that year, and I have had tons of fun with Roots of Unity. My favorite number is six, so here are my six most popular posts of the past year. 1) Boy, you really liked 10 Secret Trig [...]

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Roots of Unity

A Cuddly, Crocheted Klein Quartic Curve

A cuddly Klein quartic. Image copyright Daina Taimina. Used with permission.

Last week, mathematician and artist Daina Taimina shared her latest creation on Twitter. It’s a model of a surface called the Klein quartic. Isn’t it cute? So what is it? The Klein quartic surface is a 2-dimensional object with 3 holes that has a lot of symmetries. In fact, it has as many symmetries as [...]

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Roots of Unity

How the Simpsons (And You) Can Multiply by Seven Using Your Fingers

3 times 7 is...25? What?

When I tutored elementary school math, one of my favorite things to show the kids was how to multiply by 9 using their fingers. (I apologize, but this trick assumes that you have five fingers on each hand. Later you’ll see how to adapt it if you have nonstandard hands.) Here’s how the finger rule [...]

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Roots of Unity

Carnival of Mathematics #103

Image: David Simmonds, via flickr.

Welcome to the 103rd Carnival of Mathematics! The number 103 is prime, and it’s the “older” twin of a pair of twin primes as well—or is it the “younger” twin because it comes later? Regardless, 101 and 103 are twin primes. According to Tanya Khovanova’s site Number Gossip, 103 is not only prime and happy [...]

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Roots of Unity

Step Right Up! It’s the Carnival of Mathematics!

Circles, radii, and angles in a ferris wheel at the Riley County 4-H Fair. Image: Judy Klimek, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Carnival of Mathematics is a monthly blogging round-up of fun math-related blog posts organized by the friendly folks of the Aperiodical. This month, Michelle Blair of My Summation is hosting Carnival #102. Head on over to find some gems you may have missed in the last month. (Hint: you should check out the sonnets [...]

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Roots of Unity

The Top n Math Videos Involving Food

Romanesco, a cruciferous, fractal vegetable. Image: cyclonebill, via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s food week here on the Scientific American blog network. Food is a really important part of our health, and there’s a lot to learn about the science of food: taste, health, agriculture, how we eat. You could be reading enlightening, important articles about GMO labeling and antibiotic use in farming, or the first posts [...]

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Roots of Unity

Introducing the Blog on Math Blogs

twin_primes_ulam_spiral1

I’m pleased to introduce a new American Mathematical Society blog: the Blog on Math Blogs! Over there, my co-editor Brie Finegold and I are featuring posts from around the math blogosphere to help you keep up with math news and find new math blogs to follow. We’ve been around for about two months now, and [...]

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Roots of Unity

Mathy Ladies to Follow on Twitter

Image: Design Shack In the current issue of the Association for Women in Mathematics newsletter (password required), Anne Carlill asks where the female mathematicians are on Twitter: “I found that the only female mathematicians or math educators I followed were Nalini Joshi in Sydney and Fawn Nguyen in California. In contrast there are about 15 [...]

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