Category Archives: Fun (Maths NSFW)

Good code and bad code

  
Thanks Valentina for this cartoon:-)

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Fields arranged by purity (new take)

Epistemological philosophers were pure before it was cool…

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The life of a postdoc on a T-shirt

 

postdoc-tshirt

If you stopped drinking coffee for a week or two, assuming your research doesn’t suffer from this violent caffeine withdrawal, you can buy one here with the money you save:

https://www.teezily.com/postdoctoralresearcherwsm

via fellow postdoc and researcher of academic precarity, Mariya Ivancheva.

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Minesweeper is NP-complete

Remember that old game? I had it in my second computer, a windows 95. thanks to Facebook algorithms (and I don’t often say that), I just stumbled upon something fun: an article about the mathematics of minesweeper I had read back in 2011 when I wasn’t even researching mathematics! Enjoy: Minesweeper and NP-completeness.

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Find the missing i!

The new Mathematikon building of the University of Heidelberg and its… imaginary i 🙂

11878921_1137820686232301_4394361652472691971_o

Photo and mathematical meta-joke shamelessly stolen from today’s status of Springer Spektrum Mathematik I Physik’s Facebook Page.

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Group theory in simple English

Are you sick of academese? Or maybe your field really is so hard that the thought of explaining your research to your grandma has never even crossed your mind? Now you have a chance to explain a hard idea (e.g., your research topic) in simple words – in fact, with only the 1,000 most used words! A friend who is a group theorist has just made group theory sound awesomely simple: 

A group is a set of things with a way of putting two things together to get another thing. One type of group is all the ways of moving three things in space to a different place, and in fact if space was “bigger” we could get a bigger group by having more things to move. If we only do some but not all of these moves we can get a smaller group, but sometimes this will only be a little bit smaller than the group that we started with. I am interested in trying to find all of these slightly smaller groups in the situation where we are trying to move ten add six or ten add seven things.

And here is a longer explanation of Hilbert’s Hotel:

The House of Mr Hilbert:
Suppose that you are a person who has a big house where other people can give you money in order to come and live in a room for a short time. (click here to read the rest) …

Try it out here and post the results in the comments!

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The set of all boyfriend points

My boyfriend is cooking dinner tonight. He said he is trying to get boyfriend points (although he cooks 50% of all dinners in our two-person household anyway). I assured him that there are no boyfriend points to be had, because he already has all of them (being a fantastic boyfriend). But (being also a mathematician) he immediately started to worry (aloud) about whether the set of all boyfriend points is, in fact, the empty set…

  

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“I do it to make mathematicians cry”

I love my research topic. Math[ematicians]-related procrastination is fun. This post of the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: “I do it to make mathematicians cry” almost made me spit out my breakfast cereal onto the keyboard earlier today. As my friends over in the maths institute like saying, the physicist in this comic strip needs to have his infinity licence revoked! Nice to see the mathematician prevail in the happy end. Oh, you thought i was unbiased? No, I’ve totally gone native.

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