Comments on: Martin has turned thousands of children into mathematicians, and thousands of mathematicians into children.
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children/
Comments on MetaFilter post Martin has turned thousands of children into mathematicians, and thousands of mathematicians into children.Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:29:58 -0800Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:29:58 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Martin has turned thousands of children into mathematicians, and thousands of mathematicians into children.
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children
A polymath and a mathemagician without a math degree, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/science/20tier.html">Martin Gardner turns 95 tomorrow</a>, and he is celebrating by publishing a new book of essays, which joins over 100 he has written on math, philosophy, literature, magic, and skeptical thinking. A <a href="http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2008/12/martin-gardner-documentary/#">wonderful documentary</a> covering the overlapping circles of math, magic, and science in which he travels is available from Encyclopedia Britannica [<a href="http://concise.britannica.com/new-multimedia/mp4/newdim025.mp4">mp4 version here</a>]. His thousands of puzzles and mathematical diversions included <a href="http://www.maths.uq.edu.au/~infinity/Infinity11/McMatch.html">building a learning machine out of matchboxes</a> that could<a href="http://headinside.blogspot.com/2008/03/computing-without-computers.html"> beat you in a simple game</a>, <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=I2A8gKI6HhAC&lpg=PP1&ots=d6SsyXg8l9&dq=martin%20gardner%20asimov&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q=martin%20gardner%20asimov&f=false">science fiction puzzle tales</a> (can you solve the first couple?), many mathematical <a href="http://www.doe.virginia.gov/Div/Winchester/jhhs/math/puzzles/mathmagc.html">tricks</a>, and the first general <a href="http://ddi.cs.uni-potsdam.de/HyFISCH/Produzieren/lis_projekt/proj_gamelife/ConwayScientificAmerican.htm">introduction to the Game of Life</a>. <a href="http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2008/09/the-martin-gardner-interview/">A fascinating interview with the man</a> is available from Cambridge University Press. <br /><br />Sadly, few of Gardner's books or columns are freely available online, but, given his <a href="http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/gardner-booklist.html">tremendous output</a>, there are some wonderful things available. Check out the book that influenced Gardner most, the <a href="http://www.mathpuzzle.com/loyd/">Cyclopedia of Puzzles</a>, which is available in its entirety, as is a <a href="http://www.g4g4.com/paul/BOOK.pdf">wonderful book in tribute to Gardner</a>.
In addition, Gardner's literary output is also impressive. He is the author of the <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail-inside.aspx?ID=5353&CTYPE=G">Annotated Alice in Wonderland</a> [link to publisher's excerpts] as well as <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=VdFAVkivVTgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Martin+Gardner%22+poems&ei=uuPdSqKWHovYyASIqsTbDg&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=&f=false">collections of poems</a>. He also has fascinating works on the <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=oXEaTdstD7gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Martin+Gardner%22&ei=d-PdSqGxIZ6WyASat4nZDg&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=&f=false">philosophy of science</a>.post:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:26:10 -0800blahblahblahmartingardnerBy: jquinby
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789298
Another post that I wish I could favorite about 10 times. Thanks for this!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789298Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:29:58 -0800jquinbyBy: DU
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789314
I can confirm that Annotated Alice is awesome. Also, I really loved one of his SciAm article compendium books as a kid, although I understood almost none of it. Plus his skeptic work. Dudes a machine.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789314Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:37:32 -0800DUBy: adamrice
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789317
There is a <a href="http://www.g4g4.com/">Gathering for Gardner</a> convention, one of which produced this fantastic optical illusion, the <a href="http://pontomidia.com.br/ricardo/greatweb/gathering_for_gardner_paper_dragon.html">dragon</a>. <a href="http://pontomidia.com.br/ricardo/greatweb/green_dragon.jpg">Print it out</a> and make your own—it's freaky!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789317Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:37:53 -0800adamriceBy: Joe Beese
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789319
In retrospect, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312206828/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/"><em>The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener</em></a> was one of the most influential books in my life.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789319Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:38:29 -0800Joe BeeseBy: Navelgazer
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789324
Eh. If a mathemagician hasn't done his greatest work by age 90, he never will.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789324Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:40:55 -0800NavelgazerBy: octothorpe
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789338
Wow, he's still alive? Awesome. I loved his math books and Alice.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789338Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:45:49 -0800octothorpeBy: Caduceus
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789339
Holy shit, Martin Gardner never had a degree? That's amazing. I'm more familiar with his literary work, particularly the Annotated Alice, but I knew he did both. Really, dude was like a background fixture for me all through my education. Every time I turned around there was something else with his name on it.
Happy birthday, Mr. Gardner!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789339Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:46:31 -0800CaduceusBy: adipocere
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789351
I have often thought about writing him and either thanking or cursing him for my interest, piqued when I was about nine, generated by stumbling across one of his columns which mentioned what I <em>now</em> know to be Hinton Cubes, just before the library closed and I lost a chance to explore further, or even write down a decent note. For about twenty years, I had in a little folder a scrap of paper with "Garner - Cubes - 06???" on it, and nothing else to go on. Now I've got the material, but that persistent little itch had his misspelled name on it, all this time.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789351Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:52:15 -0800adipocereBy: everichon
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789364
Excellent. I grew up with Gardner books and columns strewn around the house, thanks to Dad.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789364Tue, 20 Oct 2009 09:57:52 -0800everichonBy: GuyZero
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789382
HE R SMART.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789382Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:02:54 -0800GuyZeroBy: smackfu
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789420
I got his various SciAm compilations out of the library dozens of time in my childhood. I loved the bits on the Game of Life — there was always one in each volume.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789420Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:16:58 -0800smackfuBy: 23skidoo
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789438
I have a copy of "Aha! Gotcha" that has been getting sunbleached from being left on the porch. I loved the crap out of that book as a kid.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789438Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:23:12 -080023skidooBy: gubo
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789445
Also recommended is his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393062422/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/">Annotated Hunting of the Snark</a>.
Fun fact from a Gardner science book: If you shrank the Earth to the size of a billiard ball and dried it off, it would be <em>smoother </em>than a billiard ball.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789445Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:24:41 -0800guboBy: Kevin Street
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789461
Martin Gardner is awesome. And props for Annotated Alice, too. That book was one of the many wonderful discoveries I made in the University library, and it was quite the revelation.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789461Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:33:40 -0800Kevin StreetBy: DevilsAdvocate
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789464
Happy 4*4!-(4/4)th birthday!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789464Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:34:47 -0800DevilsAdvocateBy: Obscure Reference
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789484
<em>skeptical thinking</em>
Note that he believes in God. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789484Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:48:00 -0800Obscure ReferenceBy: languagehat
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789489
I loved both his<em> Sci Am</em> columns and his <em>Annotated Alice</em> when I was growing up (and I think it may have taken me a while to realize they were by the same person). Thanks for the post!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789489Tue, 20 Oct 2009 10:51:04 -0800languagehatBy: kcds
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789524
<em>Happy 4*4!-(4/4)th birthday!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:34 AM on October 20 [4 favorites +] [!]</em>
I want so badly to favorite this comment but I'm sure you can see why I cannot.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789524Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:06:37 -0800kcdsBy: DU
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789528
<i>Happy 4*4!-(4/4)th birthday!</i>
4*4!-(4/4) = 4*(1*2*3*4) - 1 = 8*12 - 1 = 96 - 1 = 95.
OK, now I get it. Very nice.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789528Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:08:51 -0800DUBy: blahblahblah
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789550
I removed my favorite from DevlisAdvocate's comment to give someone else a chance.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789550Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:19:42 -0800blahblahblahBy: DevilsAdvocate
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789553
<i>I want so badly to favorite this comment but I'm sure you can see why I cannot.</i>
Why? What would be wrong with:
<i>posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4+4+(4/√4):4!+4+4+√4 AM on October (4!-4)(4/4) [√4+√4+(4/4) favorites +] [!]</i>
<small>Whaddya mean that's not how it looks to you?</small>comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789553Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:20:38 -0800DevilsAdvocateBy: gcbv
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789604
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3Km2dTE-6Q&feature=player_embedded#">HERE IS</a> the "tying a know without letting go" trick that John Conway does at the beginning of the video.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789604Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:44:31 -0800gcbvBy: gcbv
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789609
whoah, I meant KNOT. obviously.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789609Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:46:28 -0800gcbvBy: spamguy
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789671
His Gotcha! book of paradoxes and brainfucks is one of the most mathematically fun books I own. I had no idea he was still alive. Cheers!comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789671Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:19:59 -0800spamguyBy: PhoBWanKenobi
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789691
Yay Martin Gardner! His Annotated Alices totally got me into research at a young age. I'm pretty sure I mailed him some choice "finds" (aka fan letters) hoping to be published in later editions.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789691Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:26:59 -0800PhoBWanKenobiBy: mdoar
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789714
I think history will rate him with <a href="http://www.samuelloyd.com/time-line.html">Sam Loyd</a>. He's a cultural treasure.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789714Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:35:04 -0800mdoarBy: JHarris
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789718
His "The Colossal Book of Mathematics," a collection of some of his best Mathematical Games columns is wonderful. The day Scientific American stopped running Mathematical Games (and its successor math and computer column) was the day I started kind of edging away from it. It still ran great articles for a while, but it wasn't as much fun.
Martin Gardner is nearly the most awesome person alive in the world.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789718Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:36:38 -0800JHarrisBy: Johnny Assay
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789730
Cambridge University Press is currently publishing <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/series/sSeries.asp?code=NGML">The New Martin Gardner Mathematical Library</a>. These volumes were (I believe) originally published in the '60s and '70s; the new editions contain updates on the subjects written by Gardner himself. I've purchased two of the new volumes thus far, and can highly recommend them.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789730Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:41:38 -0800Johnny AssayBy: vacapinta
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789756
<i>I have often thought about writing him and either thanking or cursing him for my interest, piqued when I was about nine, generated by stumbling across one of his columns which mentioned what I now know to be Hinton Cubes, just before the library closed and I lost a chance to explore further, or even write down a decent note. For about twenty years, I had in a little folder a scrap of paper with "Garner - Cubes - 06???" on it, and nothing else to go on. Now I've got the material, but that persistent little itch had his misspelled name on it, all this time.
posted by adipocere at 5:52 PM on October 20</i>
That column was collected in a book called "Mathematical Carnival."
My own copy of that book is tattered and beaten. I say "is" because I still have this book I found when I was nine. I never forgot that column either, doing research here and there, finding little or nothing. Finally, I went for it and <a href="http://www.metafilter.com/18335/">made a mefi post</a>. Later, I searched out and got Hinton's books for myself. Mefi then helped me <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/49408/Help-me-get-an-old-book-online">scan it and make it available to the world</a>.
I can't possibly convey how much Martin Gardner meant to me growing up. It is no exaggeration to say that he, by himself, is the difference between who I could have been and who I am. The former, much more impoverished. One of the few people alive, that if I met, I'd like nothing more than to give them an appreciative hug.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789756Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:53:13 -0800vacapintaBy: The Deej
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789763
I spent hours lost in his books. Here's an <a href="http://www.metafilter.com/70412/Matchbox-Computing">FPP on his Matchbox Computing concept </a>I posted a while back.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789763Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:55:44 -0800The DeejBy: UrineSoakedRube
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789875
Ha! I have you all beat -- he came to my home once, back when I was in high school. A classmate interviewed him, and I got to sit and listen to a top notch mind playing with ideas.
Now, who wants to touch me?comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789875Tue, 20 Oct 2009 13:48:16 -0800UrineSoakedRubeBy: The Deej
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789907
<em>Now, who wants to touch me?</em>
Not while you're soaked in urine.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789907Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:01:49 -0800The DeejBy: Mister Moofoo
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2789995
I seem to vaguely remember him occasionally contributing to Games magazine. I remember wondering if his name was a play on "Marvin Gardens," what with it being GAMES magazine, and all.
Come on. I was like 9.
Glad to know he's still kicking.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2789995Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:47:04 -0800Mister MoofooBy: Zed
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790002
In the first article in the tribute book linked above, Gardner is quoted as saying that (before he took it up) the only puzzle collector he'd ever heard of was fictitious, a detective character "in a series of short stories that ran many years ago in one of the popular mystery magazines." The citation says he said it in 1934 in Hobbies magazine.
Anyone know who the character is?comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790002Tue, 20 Oct 2009 14:55:02 -0800ZedBy: cereselle
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790053
DAMN it, that Google Books link has all of the puzzles, and none of the answers! I must know how three surgeons can operate with only two pairs of gloves!
<small>Someone smarter than me please tell me.</small>comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790053Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:35:55 -0800cereselleBy: The Deej
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790055
The first surgeon wears both pairs of gloves, with pair A inside pair B. The second surgeon wears pair B. The third surgeon turns pair A inside out before wearing them.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790055Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:39:25 -0800The DeejBy: The Deej
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790057
(Guess that proves I'm <a href="http://main.spd.dcu.ie/main/academic/mathematics/MathsWeekPuzzles.shtml">smarter than you</a>.)comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790057Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:40:23 -0800The DeejBy: DevilsAdvocate
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790063
<i>The first surgeon wears both pairs of gloves, with pair A inside pair B. The second surgeon wears pair B. The third surgeon turns pair A inside out before wearing them.</i>
...and wears pair B over the inside-out pair A. The key is to note that there are four people involved, and four pairs of glove-sides.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790063Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:44:47 -0800DevilsAdvocateBy: LobsterMitten
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790353
<i>Holy shit, Martin Gardner never had a degree? That's amazing. ...</i>
I think he has a degree, just not in math. The NYT article says "he majored in philosophy at the University of Chicago".comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790353Tue, 20 Oct 2009 19:15:29 -0800LobsterMittenBy: storybored
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790411
Well happy birthday to Martin and thanks for the post blah!
I was another youngster who loved his Scientific American columns and struggled to understand them. Later I started getting his books at the library sales hoping i'd be able to figure them out. Just the drawings are amazing.
This was back when Scientific American was still the grey lady of science writing. I wonder what Gardner thinks of the magazine today.... sad.
One early book I also loved of his was "Fads and Fallacies in the name of Science", the first book on crackpots and skepticism i ever read. I still have it. Been a skeptic ever since.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790411Tue, 20 Oct 2009 20:06:08 -0800storyboredBy: JHarris
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790649
Mathematical Games was where I, and most people, probably, first discovered Conway's Game of Life. Martin Gardner may also have been the first major dissemination point for knowledge of fractals outside the academic math community.
Going through the book I mentioned upthread, there is:
A description of a drill that can drill square holes. Chapter 4, "Curves of Constant Width."
A kind of ovoid solid, a "superegg," that is stable when placed on its end. Chapter 6, "Piet Hein's Superellipse."
A set of specially-numbered dice that, when laid out in sequence, each of them "beats" the one before it on the average in roll contests... but the one on the end beats the first one! None of the dice is "best," they all beat the previous one in circular order. Chapter 22, "Nontransitive Dice and Other Paradoxes."
A good number of printed messages that read the same when turned upside-down, or rotated. Chapter 16, "The Amazing Creations of Scott Kim."
Life is covered in Chapter 31.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790649Wed, 21 Oct 2009 02:00:24 -0800JHarrisBy: anotherpanacea
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790808
<em>and wears pair B over the inside-out pair A</em>
Doesn't the third surgeon need to turn pair B inside out, as well? That way the clean side of B is outside, while the dirty side of B is touching the dirty side of A.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790808Wed, 21 Oct 2009 07:09:05 -0800anotherpanaceaBy: DevilsAdvocate
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2790857
No--there is no "clean" side of B at that point. The insides of B were already touching the hands of surgeon #2. However, the outsides of B, while not guaranteed to be clean, have only touched the patient thus far; they're uncontaminated if the patient was not already infected.
Surgeon #1 touches only the insides of A. Surgeon #2 touches only the insides of B. Surgeon #3 touches only the "outsides" (the insides once they're turned inside-out) of A. The patient touches only the outsides of B; he touches them three different times, but that's OK.comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2790857Wed, 21 Oct 2009 07:58:18 -0800DevilsAdvocateBy: anotherpanacea
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2791548
doh....comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2791548Wed, 21 Oct 2009 15:43:45 -0800anotherpanaceaBy: storybored
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2791760
The New York Times joins in the celebration with this <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/science/20tier.html?em"><strong>story.</strong></a>comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2791760Wed, 21 Oct 2009 17:50:41 -0800storyboredBy: salmacis
http://www.metafilter.com/85991/Martin-has-turned-thousands-of-children-into-mathematicians-and-thousands-of-mathematicians-into-children#2792146
Was there a quick way to do number 2?
I solved 0.5n(n+1)=100 and 0.5n(n+1)=200 as n=13.65 and n=19.5 respectively. This narrows down the number of balls down to one of 105, 120, 136, 153, 171 and 190. From there it just seemed easiest to use trial and error to find a value of m in which (m(m+1)(m+2))/6 equals one of those six possibilities. In this case, m=8, leaving the answer to the question as 120.
I just wonder, was there a cleverer way of doing it?comment:www.metafilter.com,2009:site.85991-2792146Thu, 22 Oct 2009 00:14:09 -0800salmacis