Someone Else’s Homework: Was It Hard? An Umbrella Search


I wanted to follow up, at last, on this homework problem a friend had. Someone Else’s Homework: A Solution introduced the problem and presented my first draft of an answer. Someone Else’s Homework: Some More Thoughts presented my revised thoughts. And the proof I’d turn in if I needed to. Or that I’d put on … Continue reading “Someone Else’s Homework: Was It Hard? An Umbrella Search”

Reading the Comics, January 21, 2017: Homework Edition


Now to close out what Comic Strip Master Command sent my way through last Saturday. And I’m glad I’ve shifted to a regular schedule for these. They ordered a mass of comics with mathematical themes for Sunday and Monday this current week. Karen Montague-Reyes’s Clear Blue Water rerun for the 17th describes trick-or-treating as “logarithmic”. … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 21, 2017: Homework Edition”

Reading the Comics, June 6, 2020: Wrapping Up The Week Edition


Let’s see if I can’t close out the first week of June’s comics. I’d rather have published this either Tuesday or Thursday, but I didn’t have the time to write my statistics post for May, not yet. I’ll get there. One of Gary Larson’s The Far Side reprints for the 4th is one I don’t … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, June 6, 2020: Wrapping Up The Week Edition”

Reading the Comics, July 13, 2019: Marginal Supplemental Edition


So last week there were only a handful of comic strips which mentioned mathematics in any detail. That is, that brought up some point that I could go on about for a paragraph or so. There were more that had some marginal mathematics content. I gather them here for the interested. Gordon Bess’s Redeye rerun … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, July 13, 2019: Marginal Supplemental Edition”

Reading the Comics, January 30, 2019: Interlude Edition


I think there are just barely enough comic strips from the past week to make three essays this time around. But one of them has to be a short group, only three comics. That’ll be for the next essay when I can group together all the strips that ran in February. One strip that I … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 30, 2019: Interlude Edition”

Reading the Comics, July 17, 2018: These Are Comic Strips Edition


Some of the comics last week don’t leave me much to talk about. Well, there should be another half-dozen comics under review later in the week. You’ll stick around, won’t you please? Anthony Blades’s Bewley for the 16th is a rerun, and an old friend. It’s appeared the 14th of August, 2016, and in April … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, July 17, 2018: These Are Comic Strips Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 14, 2016: Classics Edition


The mathematically-themed comic strips of the past week tended to touch on some classic topics and classic motifs. That’s enough for me to declare a title for these comics. Enjoy, won’t you please? John McPherson’s Close To Home for the 9th uses the classic board full of mathematics to express deep thinking. And it’s deep … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 14, 2016: Classics Edition”

Reading the Comics, June 29, 2016: Math Is Just This Hard Stuff, Right? Edition


We’ve got into that stretch of the year when (United States) schools are out of session. Comic Strip Master Command seems to have thus ordered everyone to clean out their mathematics gags, even if they didn’t have any particularly strong ones. There were enough the past week I’m breaking this collection into two segments, though. … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, June 29, 2016: Math Is Just This Hard Stuff, Right? Edition”

How February 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Once again I spent a month not obsessing about the WordPress-gathered statistics day to day. It was somewhat soothing. But I wasn’t doing well in visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs, and I know that hurts my own readership. The economy of social media runs on sharing attention. But it was still a decent … Continue reading “How February 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

Reading the Comics, February 2, 2016: Pre-Lottery Edition


So a couple weeks ago one of the multi-state lotteries in the United States reached a staggering jackpot of one and a half billion dollars. And it turns out that “a couple weeks” is about the lead time most syndicated comic strip artists maintain. So there’s a rash of lottery-themed comic strips. There’s enough of … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, February 2, 2016: Pre-Lottery Edition”

Reading the Comics, October 5, 2015: Boxes and Hyperboxes Edition


I’ve got more mathematically-themed comic strips than this to write about, but this should do for one day’s postings. Motley did give me the puzzle of figuring out whether the character’s description of a process could be made sensible, which is a bit of extra fun. Boxes and cubes come up in three of the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 5, 2015: Boxes and Hyperboxes Edition”

My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Renormalization


I have again Elke Stangl, author of elkemental Force, to thank for the subject this week. Again, Stangl’s is a blog of wide-ranging theme interests. And it’s got more poetry this week again, this time haikus about the Dirac delta function. I also have Kerson Huang, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and of Nanyang … Continue reading “My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Renormalization”

Playful Math Education Blog Carnival 141


This is the 141st Playful Math Education Blog Carnival. And I will be taking this lower-key than I have past times I was able to host the carnival. I do not have higher keys available this year. The Numbers I will start by borrowing a page from Iva Sallay, kind creator and host of FindTheFactors.com, … Continue reading “Playful Math Education Blog Carnival 141”

My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Butterfly Effect


It’s a fun topic today, one suggested by Jacob Siehler, who I think is one of the people I met through Mathstodon. Mathstodon is a mathematics-themed instance of Mastodon, an open-source microblogging system. You can read its public messages here. Butterfly Effect. I take the short walk from my home to the Red Cedar River, … Continue reading “My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Butterfly Effect”

How May 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I don’t know why my regular review of my past month’s readership keeps creeping later and later in the month. I understand why it does so on my humor blog: there’s stuff that basically squats on the Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday slots. And a thing has to be written after the 1st of the … Continue reading “How May 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How April 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Yes, I feel a bit weird looking at the past month’s readership this early in the month too. I was tempted to go back and look at March’s figures all over again just so I stay tardy. But, no sense putting it off further, especially as I’m thinking to over-commit myself again already. In April … Continue reading “How April 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How March 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog, Finally


And now I can close my books on March 2020. Late? Yes, so it’s late. You know what it’s been like. It was a month full of changes of fate, not least because on the 10th I volunteered to tape the empty slot hosting Denise Gaskins’s Playful Math Education Blog Carnival, and right after that … Continue reading “How March 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog, Finally”

Reading the Comics, April 6, 2020: My Perennials Edition


As much as everything is still happening, and so much, there’s still comic strips. I’m fortunately able here to focus just on the comics that discuss some mathematical theme, so let’s get started in exploring last week’s reading. Worth deeper discussion are the comics that turn up here all the time. Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, April 6, 2020: My Perennials Edition”

Reading the Comics, March 31, 2020: End March, Already, Edition


I think few will oppose me if I say the best part of March 2020 was that it ended. Let me close out nearly all my March business by getting through the last couple comic strips which mentioned some mathematics topic that month. I’ll still have my readership review, probably to post Friday, and then … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, March 31, 2020: End March, Already, Edition”

Reading the Comics, March 7, 2020: Everybody Has Tests Edition


It was another pretty quiet week for mathematically-themed comic strips. Most of what did mention my subject just presented it as a subject giving them homework or quizzes or exams. But let’s look over what is here. Morrie Turner’s Wee Pals rerun for the 3rd is an example of this, with one of the kids … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, March 7, 2020: Everybody Has Tests Edition”

Reading the Comics, February 3, 2020: Fake Venn Diagrams and Real Reruns Edition


Besides kids doing homework there were a good ten or so comic strips with enough mathematical content for me to discuss. So let me split that over a couple of days; I don’t have the time to do them all in one big essay. Sandra Bell-Lundy’s Between Friends for the 2nd is declared to be … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, February 3, 2020: Fake Venn Diagrams and Real Reruns Edition”

Reading the Comics, January 27, 2020: Alley Oop Followup Edition


I apologize for missing Sunday. I wasn’t able to make the time to write about last week’s mathematically-themed comic strips. But I’m back in the swing of things. Here are some of the comic strips that got my attention. Jonathan Lemon and Joey Alison Sayers’s Little Oop for the 26th has something neat in the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 27, 2020: Alley Oop Followup Edition”

How All Of 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I’d promised during my review of the past month that I’d also look at my readership for the whole of 2019. It took a bit longer than I figured, but I’ve gotten there. 2019 was the eighth full year that I’ve been mathematics-blogging. I started in September of 2011 and needed a while to figure … Continue reading “How All Of 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How December 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I have not been putting off the regular monthly review of my readership statistics because I didn’t like how they looked. I’ve had things occupying my day and haven’t had time to tend the blog is all. That’s come to a stop now, though, and I can look seriously at how things went around here … Continue reading “How December 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

Reading the Comics, December 25, 2019: Running Out The Year Edition


The last full week of the year had, again, comic strips that mostly mention mathematics without getting into detail. That’s all right. I have a bit of a cold so I’m happy not to have to compose thoughts about too many of them. John Zakour and Scott Roberts’s Maria’s Day for the 22nd has Maria … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, December 25, 2019: Running Out The Year Edition”

How November 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


A couple months back I switched to looking at comparing monthly readership figures to a twelve-month running average. Running averages offer some advantages in looking for any signal. They make statistics less sensitive to fluke events. The cost, of course, is that they take longer to recognize trends starting. But in October I had a … Continue reading “How November 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

My 2019 Mathematics A To Z: Linear Programming


Today’s A To Z term is another proposed by @aajohannas. I couldn’t find a place to fit this in the essay proper. But it’s too good to leave out. The simplex method, discussed within, traces to George Dantzig. He’d been planning methods for the US Army Air Force during the Second World War. Dantzig is … Continue reading “My 2019 Mathematics A To Z: Linear Programming”

Reading the Comics, September 24, 2019: I Make Something Of This Edition


I trust nobody’s too upset that I postponed the big Reading the Comics posts of this week a day. There’s enough comics from last week to split them into two essays. Please enjoy. Scott Shaw! and Stan Sakai’s Popeye’s Cartoon Club for the 22nd is one of a yearlong series of Sunday strips, each by … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, September 24, 2019: I Make Something Of This Edition”

Reading the Comics, September 20, 2019: Quarters and Bunnies Edition


Norm Feuti’s Gil did not last long enough in syndication. This is a shame. The characters were great, the humor in a mode I like, and young Gil’s fascination with shows about the paranormal was eerily close to my own young self. But it didn’t last; my understanding is newspapers were reluctant to bring in … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, September 20, 2019: Quarters and Bunnies Edition”

Reading the Comics, September 7, 2019: Dinosaur Follow-Up Edition


One thing to worry about during an A To Z sequence is how busy Comic Strip Master Command will decide I need to be. I’m glad to say that this first week, it wasn’t too overly busy. Even the comic strips that are most on topic are not ones that need too much explanation. They’re … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, September 7, 2019: Dinosaur Follow-Up Edition”

Reading the Comics, August 23, 2019: Basics of Logic Edition


While there were a good number of comic strips to mention mathematics this past week, there were only a few that seemed substantial to me. This works well enough. This probably is going to be the last time I keep the Reading the Comics post until after Sunday, at least until the Fall 2019 A … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, August 23, 2019: Basics of Logic Edition”

I Got Arithmetic Wrong, And Learned Something About Writing


I’ll get to the comics soon enough. Interesting me right now is that I made a mistake in my review of the July reading statistics around here. Naturally I want to fix my mistake. But I also thought some about why I thought this an interesting mistake to make. This got me to think a … Continue reading “I Got Arithmetic Wrong, And Learned Something About Writing”

Reading the Comics, July 12, 2019: Ricci Tensor Edition


So a couple days ago I was chatting with a mathematician friend. He mentioned how he was struggling with the Ricci Tensor. Not the definition, not exactly, but its point. What the Ricci Tensor was for, and why it was a useful thing. He wished he knew of a pop mathematics essay about the thing. … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, July 12, 2019: Ricci Tensor Edition”

Reading the Comics, June 15, 2019: School Is Out? Edition


This has not been the slowest week for mathematically-themed comic strips. The slowest would be the week nothing on topic came up. But this was close. I admit this is fine as I have things disrupting my normal schedule this week. I don’t need to write too many essays too. On-topic enough to discuss, though, … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, June 15, 2019: School Is Out? Edition”

Reading the Comics, May 11, 2019: I Concede I Am Late Edition


I concede I am late in wrapping up last week’s mathematically-themed comics. But please understand there were important reasons for my not having posted this earlier, like, I didn’t get it written in time. I hope you understand and agree with me about this. Bill Griffith’s Zippy the Pinhead for the 9th brings up mathematics … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 11, 2019: I Concede I Am Late Edition”