Albrecht Dürer’s ruler and compass constructions

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) is a famous Renaissance artist. Mathematicians probably know him best for his work Melencolia I which contains a magic square, a mysterious polyhedron, a compass, etc. Today I was reading his book Underweysung der Messung mit dem Zirckel und Richtscheyt (The Painter’s Manual: A manual of measurement of lines, areas, and solids…

A picture of frustration: Sam Loyd’s 15 puzzle

Mathematics, whether it be calculus homework or cutting-edge research, can be very challenging. Haven’t we all faced a problem that we struggle with for hours or days? The answer, we know, or we hope, is within our grasp—but we just can’t reach it. In moments like that I always think of this picture from the…