Chris has been watching math videos (huh?!), so I tuned in for a few, including this video introducing differential equations. They’re really easy to watch, follow, and learn from, and the instructor is an absolute delight. It’s impressive to see lessons that are considered ‘upper level’ math presented with such ease and in such manageable chunks. I am sad that my last math class was 8 years ago; these mini-lessons are just enough to fill that void for awhile longer!

Even if you’re not a math person, there are videos for you! The Khan Academy is an online-based nonprofit with a mission to make quality education available to everyone. They have nearly 4,000 videos on topics from biology, to animation, to finance, to history. I love the mission and the execution; two thumbs up. Now go learn about differential equations!

This week’s Relatively Prime podcast centers around a game I wish I could win more effectively: checkers. Give it a listen, and see the below description to get you hooked.

You may not think of checkers as an important game intellectually. It certainly has never had the cachet of chess. That did not stop it from becoming the obsession of the University of Alberta computer science professor for nearly two decades and the center of one of the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence projects ever undertaken. This is their story.

Top 5: Fun Things I’ve Learned From Sam Hansen (though there are many more)

In no particular order…

  1. Yellow watermelon not only exists, but is delicious.
  2. The Jen Bokoff is not only a drink, but it is delicious.
  3. We are very creative with subject lines; we’ve only repeated ourselves a handful of times. Sometime Someday Somewhere was a good one, as was the more recent Sporific Sundays is a fun one; too bad it’s Tuesday. Trends include alliteration and musings. Wednesdays are highlights, with lines such as Wednesday is for Weeping Wimpy Witches and Whoopsie Wednesday. Soccer matchups are also popular. Sam deserves most creative credit.
  4. Adam Schafer has the best house ever, including lots of Eames chairs.
  5. The golden ratio isn’t actually magical; it’s the most often mentioned and most often incorrectly mentioned mathematical thing in the world.

Chutes and Ladders: Not just a kids game anymore

Still playing Chutes and Ladders with the kids? Are you losing or feeling bored? Let math help you climb that ladder of enjoyment!

DataGenetics gives a fascinating mathematical breakdown of Chutes and Ladders. Learn what squares are most likely to land on, how many rolls will complete a game, and what would happen if you added more ladders.

Maybe it’s time for you host a game night with your buddies and throw this one back into the mix.

DataGenetics has other very cool board game analyses and more. Check it out.

A Versatile Palindrome

Fun with math!

Another wonderful math trick from Futility Closet:

0264 + 4125 + 5610 = 0165 + 5214 + 4620

… remains valid if you split each term with a multiplication sign:

02 × 64 + 41 × 25 + 56 × 10 = 01 × 65 + 52 × 14 + 46 × 20

… or an addition sign:

02 + 64 + 41 + 25 + 56 + 10 = 01 + 65 + 52 + 14 + 46 + 20

Remarkably, everything above holds true if you square each term.

From the same people who brought you this mind-melter.

(Thanks jtotheizzoe for sharing!)

[Editor’s note: I’ve been taking a brief blog hiatus (busy couple days!) but please submit post ideas and/or questions here or via email and I’ll get to them next week! Thanks for being a loyal audience!]

A Versatile Palindrome