December, 2015

Mathematical Zombie: the sticks and crossings method

"Where are they all coming from?" asked the first. "Facebook, mainly," said the second. "Usually with a slick video showing how to multiply 321 by 13 using only a few diagonal lines." "Gah," said the second. A few hollow voices chanted "4 1 7 3". "It's not that it's a

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Ask Uncle Colin: An emergency limit!

Dear Uncle Colin Help! An emergency has arisen and my L'Hôpital's Rule is out of order -- but I still need to find $\lim_{x \to 0_+} \frac{\ln(x)}{\cot(x)}$! This is not a drill! -- Help! Inexplicable Limitations Bring Everyone Ridiculous Trouble Don't panic, HILBERT! Don't panic. Now, for the benefit of

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Review: The Ideas Factory, by Jon Gertner

It was an incredible idea: gather together as many really smart people as possible and set them to work on discovering the essential nature of things. At least, it was an incredible idea around the time of Pythagoras, or the time of the House of Wisdom, or any time anyone

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