Tag Archives: pennies

Math Craft, Philippa Fawcett, and Mandelbrot

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!

Math Craft is a supersweet website where members submit their mathematically inspired art and instructions about how to make your own.  I love the polyhedra made out of pennies in the masthead, these curve stitches, and these polyhedral pumpkins!  Here is a link to Math Craft’s welcome page, authored by admin Cory Poole.  Cory is a math and physics teacher at University Preparatory School in California. The welcome page includes some instructions for creating some great paper polyhedra. Math Craft is just starting up; I’m sure there will be many more great project to be found there in the future!

Philippa Fawcett, who broke the glass ceiling of Cambridge mathematics

An article recently appeared on the Past Imperfect blog on Smithsonian.com about the compelling story of Philippa Fawcett. Fawcett was the first and only woman to make the highest score on the Cambridge tripos mathematical exam.  She did so during an age when the predominant opinion was that women were incapable and weak and certainly couldn’t excel at mathematics.  Fawcett’s performance on this exam did much to dispel this prejudice.  The article not only relates an interesting chapter from history, but also give an inspiring account of a person’s drive to success despite enormous obstacles.

Finally, by request, a journey through the Mandelbrot set:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_nfHY61T-U&feature=related]

Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, passed away about a year ago. You can listen to his outstanding TED talk about his life’s work here. I love his enthusiasm and curiosity, as well as how he can find marvels in the seemingly ordinary.  Also, how much fun is the way he pronounces “cauliflower”?!  You can find a memorial to Benoit Mandelbrot in last November’s edition of Peer Points.

Bon appetit!