Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!
You should definitely take some time to explore Wild Maths, a site dedicated to the creative aspects of mathematics. Wild Maths is produced by the Millennium Mathematics Project, which also makes NRICH and Plus.
One fun things you’ll find on Wild Maths is a game called Square It! You can play it with a friend or against the computer. The goal is to color dots on a square grid so that you are the first to make a square in your color. It is quite challenging! To the left you’ll find my first victory against the computer after losing the first several matches.
You’ll find lots more on Wild Maths, including an equal averages challenge, a number grid journey, and some video interviews with mathematicians Katie Steckles and Nira Chamberlain. Wild Maths also has a Showcase of work that has been submitted by their readers, much like our own Readers’ Gallery. (We love hearing from you and seeing your creations!)
Next up is a video of an amazing illusion:
Now, I am as big of a fan of squircles as anyone, but this video really threw me for a loop. The illusion just gets crazier and crazier! The illusion was designed by Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University in Japan. It recently won second place in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest.
We are fortunate that Dave Richeson has hit it out of the park again, this time sharing both an explanation of the mathematics behind the illusion and a paper template you can use to make your own ambiguous cylinder!
Finally this week, I’d like to share a fascinating document with you. It is a supplement to a book called Pioneering Women in American Mathematics: The Pre-1940s PhD’s by Judy Green and Jeanne LaDuke.
The supplement gives biographies of all 228 American women who earned their PhD’s in mathematics during the first four decades of the 20th century. You might enjoy checking out this page from the National Museum of American History, which describes some about the origin of the book project.
I hope you will find both pleasure and inspiration in reading the stories of these pioneers in American mathematics. I have found them to be a lot of fun to read.