Thirteen mathematically-inspired products

Just for fun, here is a list of 13 mathematically-inspired products that I’ve stumble upon recently. Klein bottle house Come in/Go away ambigram doormat Klein bottle bottle opener Chair made of Voronoi cells Tiling a floor with irregular pentagons A Möbius bridge The Pittsburg Steelers logo (and my blog post about it) Nesting Fibonacci kitchen…

Tricks for easily creating BibTeX files

I wrote my last book (my only book, that is) using LaTeX. I had a large bibliography with close to 400 entries. I stored all of the bibliographic items in a BibTeX file (a text file ending in .bib). Each item looks something like this: @book {Richeson:2008, AUTHOR = {Richeson, David S.}, TITLE = {Euler’s gem:…

Algebra: the Faustian bargain

I came across this great quote from Sir Micheal Atiyah. It is in Barry Mazur’s foreword to Tobias Dantzig’s book Number: the language of science (the 2005 reprinting of the 1930 classic). Algebra is the offer made by the devil to the mathematician. The devil says: I will give you this powerful machine, it will…

Neat facts from Euler 2010

I had the wonderful honor of being the keynote speaker at the 9th annual meeting of the Euler Society. I spoke today about my book. It is now the end of the second day of this 2.5 day conference. I thought I’d post a few of the many interesting things that I learned. 1. Larry…

Nested nations

Recently I wrote about a neat land/water recursion that I found. I’ve seen countries that are completely surrounded by other countries (called enclaves)—Lesotho and San Marino being two examples. But I had no idea just how recursive this could become. Michael Tobis left a comment with a link to an eye-opening post on his Pining for Fjords…

Coffee stains and the Simpsons in your LaTeX document

A few weeks ago John D. Cook posted a tweet asking for suggestions for his @TeXtip Twitter feed. Usually @TeXtip posts are useful tips or factual tidbits about the typesetting program. I decided to send him a humorous suggestion instead. He posted the tip on Twitter yesterday. I sent him a link to Hanno Rein’s coffee.sty package…

Water and land, nested

Just for fun… There is a puddle… …on an island (Ryan Island)… …in a lake (Siskiwit Lake)… …on an island (Isle Royale)… …in a lake (Lake Superior)… …on a landmass (the Americas)… …surrounded by water (oceans of the world). Can you do better? (By the way, I found this neat island on my own while…