Category Archives: Mathematics to the rescue

In how many ways you can chose a committee of three students from a class of ten students?

The renewed interest in this old post, reminded me of a more recent event: Question: In how many ways you can chose a committee of three students from a class of ten students? My expected answer: which is 120. Alternative … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Riddles, Teaching | 1 Comment

Another way to Revolutionize Football

The angle of Victoria Beckham’s hat (here in a picture from a recent wedding) is closely related to our previous post on football One of the highlights of the recent Newton Institute  conference on discrete harmonic analysis was a football … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Mathematics to the rescue, Sport | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Believing that the Earth is Round When it Matters

A world map. Canada seems much bigger than Israel. Note, however, that in the map countries near the equator looks smaller than they are. Update: The round-earth hypothesis is clearer to the people of New Zealand; see the comments section. … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Mathematics to the Rescue: Computing the Root of all Evil

Michael Joswig pointed my attention to the following unbelievable front page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine.  

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

The Möbius Undershirt

“Look at this brand new undershirt,” my wife said. “I am shaking it and shaking it but still I have this twist.  Can you see what to do?”  I gave the undershirt a good shake. And another one. And one more. And … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Taxi-and-other-stories | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

What can the Second Prize Possibly be?

You are guaranteed to win one of the following five prizes, the letter says. (And it is completely free! Just 6 dollars shipping and handling.) a) a high-definition huge-screen TV, b) a video camera, c) a yacht, d) a decorative … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Rationality | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Intermediate Value Theorem Applied to Football

My idea (in my teenage years) of how to become a professional basketball player was a bit desperate. To cover for my height and my athletic (dis)abilities, I would simply practice how to shoot perfectly from every corner of the … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Sport, Taxi-and-other-stories | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Mystery Beeping Riddle

    We came back from the airport with our daughter who has just landed after a four-month trip to India. The car was making a strange beep every so often. Maybe it is an indicator signal that should have … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Rationality, Riddles | 12 Comments

The Simplified Pill Algorithm

  Ok so I had to take one pill every day, and fortunately the pill package was marked, it contained 14 pills with labels Sunday, Monday and so on. It started with Sunday, which was the mark for the leftmost … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Taxi-and-other-stories | 2 Comments

Mathematics to the Rescue

  It was my first day as a postdoc at MIT, and after landing at Logan Airport I took a taxi to a relative in Beverly, north of Boston, where I was going to stay for a few days while looking for a … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Taxi-and-other-stories | Tagged , | 4 Comments