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Roots of Unity

Roots of Unity

Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.

What Is the Funniest Number?

“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind...

August 5, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

How Much Pi Do You Need?

I am traveling for most of July. I hope you enjoy this post from the past, which originally appeared on the Observations blog on July 21, 2012. A variety of pies celebrating the number pi...

July 22, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. Image: Smithsonian Libraries, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

June 26, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

Introducing the Blog on Math Blogs

A visualization of the twin primes using an Ulam spiral. Image: Silveira Neto. CC BY-SA 2.5 I'm pleased to introduce a new American Mathematical Society blog: the Blog on Math Blogs!...

June 25, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

Mathematicians Predict What's in Your Wallet

It's all about the Washingtons. And that smiley face button. Image: flickr user xJason.Rogersx CC BY 2.0 When I go to Europe, my pockets rapidly fill up with change.

June 20, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

My Head Is Not a Hairy Ball

I've been thinking about the hairy ball theorem a lot recently. Because I have the sophisticated sense of humor of a twelve-year-old just got a haircut, and I am newly reminded of my cowlicks...

May 31, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

Strumming the Lute of Pythagoras

When I was at the Joint Math Meetings in January, the evocative name "Lute of Pythagoras" jumped out at me in a talk by Ann Hanson of Columbia College in Chicago.

May 29, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

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