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…

Top 8 most popular polygons

Web surfers love lists—best Twitter apps, best albums, greatest films, world’s richest, best colleges (no, wait, we’re not supposed to like this list). So, I thought I’d serve up a list for my audience. The top 8 most popular polygons. My inspiration The idea for this list came to me while my kids were watching…

They Might be Giants sing about polygons

Here is a fun video from They Might be Giants. It is from their children’s CD/DVD Here Come The 123s, the follow up to Here Come the ABCs. The song is called “Nonagon”. (I feel bad for Heptagon, who apparently wasn’t invited to the party.)

Learn the Greek alphabet

I’m a big fan of Sporcle, a website that has, as they describe it, “mentally stimulating diversions.” When I was in graduate school, one of my fellow graduate students had a terrible time learning the Greek letters.  He forgot the easy ones—he repeatedly called lambda, gamma and phi, psi.  His advisor joked (I think he…