Comments on: Explorations of a Recreational Mathematician
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician/
Comments on MetaFilter post Explorations of a Recreational MathematicianFri, 03 Dec 2010 08:47:01 -0800Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:47:01 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Explorations of a Recreational Mathematician
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician
<q>Let's say you're me and you're in math class, and you're supposed to be learning about factoring. Trouble is, your teacher is too busy trying to convince you that factoring is a useful skill for the average person to know with real-world applications ranging from passing your state exams all the way to getting a higher SAT score and unfortunately does not have the time to show you why factoring is actually interesting. It's perfectly reasonable for you to get bored in this situation. So like any reasonable person, you start <a href="http://vihart.com/doodling/">doodling</a>.</q> <br /><br /><a href="http://vihart.com/">Vi Hart</a> doodles binary trees, stars, snakes, knots, and elephants in math class, and still manages to learn something.
Don't like doodles? Okay, then may she interest you in some <a href="http://vihart.com/food/">edible</a> polyhedra, fractals, and hyperbolic planes?
Not hungry? Perhaps you'd prefer <a href="http://vihart.com/balloons/">balloon</a>s or <a href="http://vihart.com/beadwork/">beads</a>?
You're more of a music person than a math person? Okay, then allow Vi to help you make <a href="http://vihart.com/paperinstruments/">musical instruments</a> out of paper.
And if you want both? She's got <a href="http://vihart.com/blog/mobius-music-box/">that</a> covered to.post:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:39:43 -0800ErWennmathmathematicsdoodlesgraphtheoryalgebrageometryfoodpolyhedrahyperbolicplanefractalballoonbeadsmusicinstrumentspapercraftmusicboxmobiusvihartvideoyoutubeBy: (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401661
Whoah! They let students bring video cameras with them to class?? Holy moly that doesn't seem smart.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401661Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:47:01 -0800(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) OatesBy: DU
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401668
She's not only not in class in that video she's not in class at all that I can see. It's hypothetical.
That said, this is an awesome series and her blog has a lot of other math stuff too.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401668Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:49:53 -0800DUBy: afx237vi
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401675
Goodgriefshetalksveryfastindeed.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401675Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:53:08 -0800afx237viBy: strangememes
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401679
I thought this was a high school student narrating. And the further I watched the more upset I became at how clever and talented this kid was. The artistic talent, the mathematical adeptness. It was kind of bugging me. Until I clicked the "about me" part of the site.
My only thought was "She's my age. And cute." For some reason that made it all better.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401679Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:54:43 -0800strangememesBy: sarahnade
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401696
This is why my parents limited the number of notebooks they would buy me in a given semester.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401696Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:02:21 -0800sarahnadeBy: Wolfdog
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401699
It's pretty easy to figure out how to slice a cube with a plane to get a regular hexagon. Last summer I was obsessed with slicing cubes by planes, and I worked out the probability that a random plane (which intersects the cube) would give a triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, or hexagon (1/3, 5/12, 1/6, and 1/12, respectively). That is dependent on a particular measure for the space of planes intersecting the cube, of course, but it's a reasonable one.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401699Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:04:52 -0800WolfdogBy: Namlit
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401709
fist time ever I liked mathcomment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401709Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:08:43 -0800NamlitBy: Wolfdog
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401718
<small>Namely, if I got things right and recall correctly: if you generate real numbers a, b, and d with a uniform distribution, the set of parameters for which the plane ax+by+z+d=0 intersects the cube is a convex polyhedron with six faces. The regions which correspond to 3-sided, 4-sided intersections and so on can be decomposed into tetrahedra whose volume is easy to compute and gives the fractions above.)</small>comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401718Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:14:59 -0800WolfdogBy: DU
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401723
<i>It's pretty easy to figure out how to slice a cube with a plane to get a regular hexagon. </i>
You don't even have to slice it. Just hold it up so a corner points straight towards your eye and squint.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401723Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:18:20 -0800DUBy: echo target
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401725
These are what I draw during meetings. That way if someone asks me 'Whatcha drawing?" I can start telling them, and pretty soon they leave me alone again. Works every time!comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401725Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:18:26 -0800echo targetBy: jedicus
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401751
<a href="http://vihart.com/hp/">The music of the HP Septet on the same site is also pretty good</a>. The author of the site composed and conducted the pieces.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401751Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:29:06 -0800jedicusBy: echo target
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401763
Haha, the <a href="http://vihart.com/everything/">Everything page</a>, which contains a link to all the main pages of her site, contains a link to the Everything page. WOAHcomment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401763Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:34:14 -0800echo targetBy: Babblesort
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401815
<em>Haha, the Everything page, which contains a link to all the main pages of her site, contains a link to the Everything page. WOAH</em>
Google has a couple funny jokes like this built into their search results. Search for <a href="http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=anagram&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=">anagram</a>. Search for <a href="http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=recursive&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=#num=10&hl=en&safe=off&pwst=1&&sa=X&ei=ki_5TLDxCI2nnwfOiKWuCQ&ved=0CCAQvwUoAQ&q=recursion&spell=1&fp=4824b41ba0d4cfd8">recursion</a>.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401815Fri, 03 Dec 2010 09:59:07 -0800BabblesortBy: MrBobaFett
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401839
I love this, this was how I doodled in math class, and many other clasees. except without the narration. I still do it in meetings, and some times over lunch break in CAD.... :) Funcomment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401839Fri, 03 Dec 2010 10:18:27 -0800MrBobaFettBy: leahwrenn
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401946
The whole "math class is deadly dull, amirite" shtick is annoying, but those are some great doodles, and her throwaway comments about the underlying mathematics are spot on.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3401946Fri, 03 Dec 2010 11:12:14 -0800leahwrennBy: Dr. Curare
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402015
Not 100% hypothetical, in one of the videos she shows old sketches from her Italian and Math classes.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402015Fri, 03 Dec 2010 11:49:32 -0800Dr. CurareBy: benzenedream
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402088
<i>Okay, then allow Vi to help you make musical instruments out of paper.</i>
That must be one kick-ass macro.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402088Fri, 03 Dec 2010 12:18:16 -0800benzenedreamBy: theichibun
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402105
<a href="http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3401679">strangememes</a>: "<i>My only thought was "She's my age. And cute." For some reason that made it all better</i>"
Have to agree with you on that one. I always like it when I find normal looking people who are into weird math stuff.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402105Fri, 03 Dec 2010 12:25:59 -0800theichibunBy: tybeet
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402265
Step 1: Complete the following steps...
Step 2: Open Infinity Elephants in a new tab.
Step 3: Wait 30 seconds.
Step 4: See Step 1.
Step 5: Profit.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402265Fri, 03 Dec 2010 13:43:23 -0800tybeetBy: Bort
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402345
If you want to go crazy, get all 4 videos playing at once from the doodling link and just listen to her voice. I couldn't last a minute.
Make sure you don't stop after the first video from the doodling link, if you're watching them. I though the following 3 were much better and plan on trying her snake/rope/knot technique.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402345Fri, 03 Dec 2010 14:31:04 -0800BortBy: rouftop
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402359
Fricking.
Awesome.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402359Fri, 03 Dec 2010 14:40:57 -0800rouftopBy: lapsangsouchong
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402653
My head is spinning. Wonderfully.
Also, I followed one of her links to a <a href="http://georgehart.com/bagel/bagel.html">different page</a> showing you how to cut a bagel into two linked halves whose cut faces are Möbius strips. I now need infinite cream cheese to spread on my breakfast.
<small>The fact that that page is by one George Hart, who turns out to be Chief of Content at the new Museum of Mathematics in New York, and former professor at Stony Brook, and who also (i) shares a surname with and (ii) is about 'dad' age for the creator of Mathematical Doodling, makes me feel a little less lame for not having gone beyond GCSE (extension paper!) maths.</small>comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402653Fri, 03 Dec 2010 18:01:25 -0800lapsangsouchongBy: DU
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3402668
Oh yeah, I spent quite a bit of time on that bagel thing trying to derive the surface area of the slice. I'd link to my blog entries on it but I got the answer wrong. At least twice.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3402668Fri, 03 Dec 2010 18:16:23 -0800DUBy: freecellwizard
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3403424
It makes me happy to see other people who enjoy learning for fun like this. I'm also kind of blown away by the whole exuberance and broad reach of everything.
Did anyone see her <a href="http://vihart.com/images/AisforArmory.png">Starcraft art</a>?
Awesome!comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3403424Sat, 04 Dec 2010 11:58:22 -0800freecellwizardBy: eritain
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3403651
Love the totally unremarked <i>Le Petit Prince</i> references in the doodle videos. Also, I am now coveting one of those music box thingums (don't miss the Möbius strip piece).comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3403651Sat, 04 Dec 2010 15:27:10 -0800eritainBy: pashdown
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3405609
Snakes on a plane!comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3405609Mon, 06 Dec 2010 08:23:03 -0800pashdownBy: ukdanae
http://www.metafilter.com/98150/Explorations-of-a-Recreational-Mathematician#3406419
I hated math (the whole math class sucks amirite resonated with me) but i loved this. It confirms my suspicion that i don't really hate math, I just hated the way I was taught math. This is brilliant.comment:www.metafilter.com,2010:site.98150-3406419Mon, 06 Dec 2010 14:39:28 -0800ukdanae