Reading the Comics, January 27, 2015: Rabbit In A Trapezoid Edition


So the reason I fell behind on this Reading the Comics post is that I spent more time than I should have dithering about which ones to include. I hope it’s not disillusioning to learn that I have no clearly defined rules about what comics to include and what to leave out. It depends on … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, January 27, 2015: Rabbit In A Trapezoid Edition”

Reading the Comics, May 9, 2015: Trapezoid Edition


And now I get caught up again, if briefly, to the mathematically-themed comic strips I can find. I’ve dubbed this one the trapezoid edition because one happens to mention the post that will outlive me. Todd Clark’s Lola (May 4) is a straightforward joke. Monty’s given his chance of passing mathematics and doesn’t understand the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 9, 2015: Trapezoid Edition”

Something I Didn’t Know About Trapezoids


I have a little iPad app for keeping track of how this blog is doing, and I’m even able to use it to compose new entries and make comments. (The entry about the lottery was one of them.) Mostly it provides a way for me to watch the count of unique visits per day, so … Continue reading “Something I Didn’t Know About Trapezoids”

Everything I Know About Trapezoids


The set of posts about the area of a trapezoid seems to form a nearly coherent enough whole that it seems worthwhile to make a convenient reference point so that people searching for “how do you find the area of a trapezoid in the most convoluted and over-explained way possible?” have convenient access to it … Continue reading “Everything I Know About Trapezoids”

How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw


I guess this is a good time to give my answer for the challenge of how many different trapezoids there are to draw. At the least it’ll provide an answer to people who seek on Google the answer to how many trapezoids there are to draw. In principle there’s an infinite number that can be … Continue reading “How Many Trapezoids I Can Draw”

How Many Trapezoids Can You Draw?


All the popular mathematics blogs seem to challenge readers to come up with answers; I might as well try the same, so I can be disheartened by the responses. In a pair of earlier essays I talked about the problem of drawing differently-shaped trapezoids so as to not overlook figures that might be trapezoids just … Continue reading “How Many Trapezoids Can You Draw?”

How Two Trapezoids Make This Simpler


[ More of Trapezoid Week! Here we make finding the area simpler by doubling the number of trapezoids on the screen. ] Figuring out the area of a trapezoid based on making it the difference between two triangles works all right. “All right” carries with it a sense of inadequacy. The complaints against it are … Continue reading “How Two Trapezoids Make This Simpler”

Drawing A Trapezoid’s Picture


(It strikes me, this might just as well be Trapezoid Week here. ) Since I did work out the area of a trapezoid starting from the area formula for triangles, and since I was embarrassed to have not seen it sooner, I decide to share it here, where it may do someone some good, particularly … Continue reading “Drawing A Trapezoid’s Picture”

How Do You Make A Trapezoid Right?


I haven’t got done listing kinds of trapezoids, of course. Arguably I’d never be able to finish, since, after all, couldn’t any possible length of the two bases — the parallel lines — and of different lengths of the diagonal legs be imagined? Well, perhaps, although a lot of those kinds are going to look … Continue reading “How Do You Make A Trapezoid Right?”

How To Forget The Area Of A Trapezoid


When I lecture I like to improvise. I prepare notes, of course, the more detailed the more precise I need to be, but my performing instincts are most satisfied when I just go in front of the class with some key points to hit and maybe a few key lines worked out ahead of time. … Continue reading “How To Forget The Area Of A Trapezoid”

Some topological fun


A friend sent me this tweet, start of a thread of some mathematically neat parks. クラインの壺を観測した pic.twitter.com/vUL1Aywexn — Tsumoto🐒 (@kakifur23839165) February 7, 2021 This jungle gym has the shape of one of the classic three-dimensional representations of the Klein bottle. It’s one of pop mathematics’s favorite shapes, up there with the Möbius strip, another all-time … Continue reading “Some topological fun”

How 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I like starting the year with a look at the past year’s readership. Really what I like is sitting around waiting to see if WordPress is going to provide any automatically generated reports on this. The first few years I was here it did, this nice animated video with fireworks corresponding to posts and how … Continue reading “How 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How November 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


I am again looking at the past month’s readership figures. And I’m again doing this in what I mean to be a lower-key form. November was a relatively laconic month for me, at least by A-to-Z standards. I had only 15 posts in November, not many more than would be in a normal month. The … Continue reading “How November 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Tiling


Mr Wu, author of the Singapore Maths Tuition blog, had an interesting suggestion for the letter T: Talent. As in mathematical talent. It’s a fine topic but, in the end, too far beyond my skills. I could share some of the legends about mathematical talent I’ve received. But what that says about the culture of … Continue reading “My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Tiling”

My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Statistics


I owe Mr Wu, author of the Singapore Maths Tuition blog, thanks for another topic for this A-to-Z. Statistics is a big field of mathematics, and so I won’t try to give you a course’s worth in 1500 words. But I have to start with a question. I seem to have ended at two thousand … Continue reading “My All 2020 Mathematics A to Z: Statistics”

How June 2020 Taught Me How Many People Just Read Me For The Comics


As part of stepping back how much I’ve committed to writing, I had figured to not do my full write-ups of monthly readership statistics. Too many of the statistics were too common, month to month; I don’t need to keep trying to tease information out about which South American countries got a single page view … Continue reading “How June 2020 Taught Me How Many People Just Read Me For The Comics”

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”

Reading the Comics, May 7, 2020: Getting to Golf Edition


Last week saw a modest number of mathematically-themed comic strips. Then it threw in a bunch of them all on Thursday. I’m splitting the week partway through that, since it gives me some theme to this collection. Tim Rickard’s Brewster Rockit for the 3rd of May is a dictionary joke, with Brewster naming each kind … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 7, 2020: Getting to Golf Edition”

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”

How February 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Oh, yes, so. I did intend to review my readership around here last month. It’s just that things got in the way. Most of them not related to the Covid-19 pandemic; it’s much more been personal matters and my paying job and such. If someone is interested in paying me to observe that I had … Continue reading “How February 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How January 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Let me now take a moment to review my readership figures for the last past month. I know February is already off to a sluggish start for me as a writer. I’ve had, particularly, my paying job demanding more mental focus than usual. But I got a wonderful crop of comic strips to discuss last … Continue reading “How January 2020 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

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”

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”

How July 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


If I had regular readers, one might notice it’s pretty late in the month without my having reviewed readership around here for the past month. This is so. There’s good reason: the first week of August was mostly wiped out by my attending Pinburgh, the world’s largest pinball tournament, and related activities. This included four(!) … Continue reading “How July 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How June 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


The amazing thing to consider is that anyone had anything to do with my mathematics blog in June. Apart from last month’s review-of-my-readership and a post pointing out some stuff I’d written about counting goldfish, all my posts were Reading the Comics. Those are fine, of course. They’re popular and they keep me writing even … Continue reading “How June 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How May 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


It’s two days past when I wanted to do my self-inspection, but that’s all right. Better to have a thing done than not. I had another month of decline on the mathematics blog, inexplicable except for my going and vanishing for a week at a time without notice or much interesting content. I published ten … Continue reading “How May 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How April 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


Well, I deserved that. After a fair start April pretty well flopped for me: the last two weeks of the month I ended up not writing any of the things I should have. If it weren’t for reblogs and heads-up posts I wouldn’t have even reached ten posts for the month. I’m not sure when … Continue reading “How April 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How March 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


So, I did something dangerous in March. I try not paying attention to the day-to-day statistics. But there’s a little graphic that shows the last several hours of views. And it’s easy to see while doing administrative stuff. And I happened to see a surge in readers. I couldn’t find an obvious cause for it. … Continue reading “How March 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How February 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog


February offered an interesting casual experiment for my mathematics blog. I didn’t actually leave it completely fallow. But I also didn’t do very much with it. I’d had an idea for a nice little project for it, but kept finding other things consuming the time. So the short month ended up having a mere 11 … Continue reading “How February 2019 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How All Of 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog


It’s looking as though WordPress has really and permanently discontinued its year-in-review posts. That’s a shame. They had this animation that presented your year as a set of fireworks, one for each post, paced the same way your posts for the year were. The size of the fireworks explosion corresponded to how much it was … Continue reading “How All Of 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

How December 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog


With the end of December it’s the time to see what was popular around here, and just how popular it was. I keep figuring I’ll learn something useful from these explorations. Now and then I come to conclusions and one of these months I’ll even act on them. December was an exhausting month. The last … Continue reading “How December 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog”

Reading the Comics, October 18, 2018: Quick Half-Week Edition


There were enough mathematically-themed comic strips last week to split across two essays. The first half of them don’t take too much time to explain. Let me show you. Henry Scarpelli and Craig Boldman’s Archie for the 15th is the pie-chart wordplay joke for the week. I don’t remember there ever being pie at the … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, October 18, 2018: Quick Half-Week Edition”

Reading the Comics, May 29, 2018: Finding Reruns Edition


There were a bunch of mathematically-themed comic strips this past week. A lot of them are ones I’d seen before. One of them is a bit risque and I’ve put that behind a cut. This saves me the effort of thinking up a good nonsense name to give this edition, so there’s that going for … Continue reading “Reading the Comics, May 29, 2018: Finding Reruns Edition”