Highlights from MathFest 2011

Last weekend I was in Lexingon, Kentucky for MathFest 2011. I had a very nice time and saw some very good talks. I thought, just for fun, that I’d share a couple of juicy mathematical tidbits I learned. Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio Ed Burger of Williams College gave a talk entitled “Planting your…

Folding a golden rectangle

Recently I wrote about the mathematics of cutting and folding paper and about the golden ratio, . Here’s a video that brings these two ideas together. We see how to create a golden rectangle (a rectangle for which the ratio of the sides is ) by folding a piece of paper. [via Anthony Brand’s maths…

Does gold tarnish? The golden spiral and nautilus shells.

I jotted down notes all summer in preparation for an entertaining article that I hoped to write for an undergraduate journal like Mathematics Magazine, College Mathematics Journal, The Mathematical Intelligencer, etc.  It had the working title “Mythematics.”  The idea would be to state several famous mathematical myths and either debunk them or argue for their veracity…