## Happy birthday Hawking, happy death day Galileo

Just a note that today is Stephen Hawking’s birthday and also Galileo’s death day.

Galileo Galilei
Born: Feb 15th, 1564 (Pisa)
Died: Jan 8th, 1642 (Arcetri)

Stephen William Hawking

Born: Jan 8th, 1942 (Oxford)
Died: Should have died five decades ago.

Hawking’s birth occurred on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death!

Hawking says, “Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science.”

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## 14 year old math prodigy offered a place at Cambridge University

In London, 14 year old Arran Fernandez has been offered a place at Cambridge University. He passed his exams set by the University last year and just has to pass his physics exam to officially enrol. If he accepts the offer at Cambridge, it’ll make him the youngest student to attend for almost 230 years!

A quote from teen:

“I’d like the solve the
Riemann hypothesis”

Best of luck with that! Let’s hope you are more successful then the rest of us!
Note: Read the quote again… shouldn’t it say “I’d like to solve the Riemann hypothesis”? A google search for that quote (in quotations) says that most news sites report THE and not TO:

Results 110 of about 233 for “I’d like the solve the Riemann hypothesis”.

Results 19 of 9 for “I’d like to solve the Riemann hypothesis”.

If it’s not a misquote then this kid truly is a mathematical genius!! Hats off to eccentricity!

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## The 232-digit number RSA-768 has been factored!

A paper posted today reports that they have factored the 768-bit number RSA-768 (this is a new record!). It further discusses implications for RSA. Should companies/banks that have data with a high financial value migrate to longer keys?

Highlights:

• They factored the number RSA-768 on December 12th, 2009
• The number RSA-768 is from the RSA Challenge list as a representative 768-bit RSA modulus
• This result sets a new record for factoring general integers
• Math: Method used is the number field sieve factoring method

• Quoted from the paper: “We spent half a year on 80 processors on polynomial selection.
This was about 3% of the main task, the sieving, which was done on many hundreds of
machines and took almost two years.”

The following quote from the RSA Laboratories website is quite interesting and informative:

##### “What does it mean when a Challenge Number is factored?

Users
of the RSA public-key cryptosystem may wonder what the factoring of a
challenge number implies about the security of their keys. Should they
immediately replace their keys with larger ones? Should they stop using
RSA altogether?

Clearly, the factoring of a challenge-number of
specific length does not mean that the RSA cryptosystem is “broken.” It
does not even mean, necessarily, that keys of the same length as the
factored challenge number must be discarded. It simply gives us an idea
of the amount of work required to factor a modulus of a given size.
This can be translated into an estimate of the cost of breaking a
particular RSA key pair.

Suppose, for example, that in the year 2010 a
factorization of RSA-768 is announced that requires 6 months of effort
on 100,000 workstations. In this hypothetical situation, would all
768-bit RSA keys need to be replaced? The answer is no. If the data
being protected needs security for significantly less than six months,
and its value is considerably less than the cost of running 100,000
workstations for that period, then 768-bit keys may continue to be
used.

Applications that require longer-term security
or have data with a high financial value should migrate to longer keys
before the factoring of the corresponding challenge number is
announced. In either case, the results of the Factoring Challenge
provide real data to help the cryptosystem user choose the appropriate
key size”

Authors of the paper:
Thorsten Kleinjung; Kazumaro Aoki; Jens Franke; Arjen Lenstra; Emmanuel
Thomé; Joppe Bos; Pierrick Gaudry; Alexander Kruppa; Peter Montgomery;
Dag Arne Osvik; Herman te Riele; Andrey Timofeev and Paul Zimmermann

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## Twas The Night Before Mathmas (text)

Text for the poem “Twas The Night Before Mathmas” (via Spiked Math)

Twas the night before Mathmas, when all through the school,
Not a student was studying, not even a fool.
The stockings were hung by the blackboard with care,
In hopes that St Matholas soon would be there.

The freshmen were nestled all snug in their seats,
While questions with functions appeared on their sheets.
And Professor in his tie, and I in my vest,
Had just settled our brains for a long calculus test.
When outside the window there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Professor looked up and said “sit back down!”,
I did what he said, but did it with a frown.

I looked at my test and saw f(x),
I then got distracted, and started thinking of sex.
Then outside the window a figure appeared,
It was St Matholas with a scruffy white beard.

I pointed and shouted and said “EVERYONE LOOK!”,
The Professor sighed and wrote in his book.
I think he wrote FAIL right under my name,
However there is no way I can verify this claim.

How come no one else can see St Matholas,
Is it because they have too much stress?
I tried to ignore him and focus on my test,
But this made St Matholas beat on his chest.

Then St Matholas entered the school,
And in one hand he carried his trusty slide rule.
No one but me noticed him come in,
I thought for sure that I must be dreamin’.

I saw in his other hand was a bottle of Coke,
And then he walked up to me and he spoke.
He said, “I am x squared plus one equals zero“,
And I thought for sure this guy’s my hero!

He talked about formulas and helped me derive,
We did x cubed plus seven to the power of five.
He said, use the chain rule and power rule too,
I quickly wrote this down without having a clue.

I finished my test in record time too,
And started contemplating going to Waterloo.
I thanked St Matholas for his help on my test,
And he said “No problem!” and that I was blessed.

He walked up to the blackboard and looked at the stockings,
And filled each one with Groups, Fields and some Rings.
He then disappeared right out of my sight,

I handed my test to the old mean professor,
And he winked at me and told me I would have to defer.
I realized I’ll never use calculus in my life,
And went home and spent Mathmas with my super hot wife.

“Happy Mathmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Sorry, that’s not correct. Guess next time he/she shouldn’t have put a space

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## Lord of the Rings Math

This is too good not to post! Someone made it and posted it on facebook and I saved it to my computer. I can’t seem to find the link to where it was posted though .. and I can’t find any websites that have the image

## Pizza Math

A well known math joke is the following:

Question: If you have a cylinder with a raduis “z” and a height of “a”, then what is the volume?

Well, someone finally put it into picture format:

I’m pretty sure that Jay Fallon created the image above, but I ended up seeing it on two other websites first.

## Happy math new years!

MP is going to make exactly one new year’s resolution:
“I will break every new year’s resolution that I make for this year.”

New years math comics:

Some more mathie new years comics:

TiMES 2009 Monoid of the Year (via Brown Sharpie)

Happy New Year 2010!
(via (x, why?))

Future Light Cone (via Abstruse Goose)

Some discussions on the number 2010:

Happy 2*3*5*(7+11+13+17+19) everyone! (via Reddit)

2010 Properites (via Wolfram|Alpha)

2010 (via Number Gossip)

Facts about the number 2010 (via Walking Randomly)

HAPPY 2 x 3 x 5 x 67! Let The “Problems” Begin! (via MathNotations)

2010 Mathematics Game (via Let’s Play Math)

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Looking for some Christmas math humor?

Here are some of the best links I have collected (along with excerpts):

The Mathematics of Christmas (via Devlin’s Angle):

“To keep the math simple, let’s
assume that these 108 million stops are
evenly distributed around the earth. That
means Santa is faced with a mean distance
between households of around 0.75 miles, and
the total distance Santa must travel is just over
75 million miles. Hence Santa’s sleigh must be
moving at 650 miles per second — 3,000 times the
speed of sound. A typical reindeer can run at
most 15 miles per hour. That’s quite a feat
Santa performs each year.”

How the Grinch Stole Statistics (via mathNEWS)

“Every H0 down in Math-ville liked Mathmas a lot
But the Grinch, who lived (x-100,y+20,z+1300) from Math-ville, did not!
The Grinch hated Mathmas! The whole Mathmas season!”

The 12 Days of Finals (via mathNEWS)

“On the nth, n ε Z, n ε [1,...,12] day of finals, my TA gave to me…
n = 1: a bell curve to make sure I pass!
n = 2: two painful proofs
…”

Your guide to finding the perfect gift for that “friend” (via mathNEWS)

Operations Research: Really, what are they
researching? Certainly not good Christmas gift ideas, like me! What you
really want to get them is a spy kit! Something like… Magnifying
glasses and a detective hat, to help them research with more awesome
attire!”

Another Mathie Christmas Carol (via mathNEWS)

## “What Function’s This?

(To the tune of “What Child Is This?”)

What function’s this? When added to
c times its derivative gives me
An f(t), oh how can we
Solve this first order DE?”

Squeeze – Merry Mathmas (via mathNEWS)

“Once upon a time there was a theorem known as Squeeze’s Theorem. This
theorem wasn’t particularly nice at all. In fact, he would pinch functions
and force them to converge. He never celebrated Mathmas. However, all of
that was going to change on this: Mathmas Eve.”

Christmas Math Jokes (via MathFail)

“Q: Why do mathematicians often confuse Christmas and Halloween?
A: Because Oct 31 = Dec 25.

Q: What’s purple, round, and doesn’t get much for Christmas?
A finitely presented grape.”

A Calculus Carol (via MathFail)

`"Oh, Calculus; Oh, Calculus,How tough are both your branches.Oh, Calculus; Oh, Calculus,To pass what are my chances?Derivatives I cannot take,At integrals my fingers shake.Oh, Calculus; Oh, Calculus,How tough are both your branches."`

My 4-regular Christmas Tree (via Brown Sharpie)

Snow Day (via Brown Sharpie)

Happy Holidays, fellow grad students (via Brown Sharpie)

Snow Angles (via Brown Sharpie)

There are lots of rings I like (via Brown Sharpie)

Happy Holidays! (via Brown Sharpie)

Gentlemen, I accept! (via Brown Sharpie)

Holiday Tradition (via Abstruse Goose; click for full comic)

Riemann Sums
(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Riemann Sums, Riemann Sums
Counting Areas
Of rectangles whose widths get small
We need to count them all
Riemann Sums, Riemann Sums
Counting Areas
Of rectangles whose widths get small
We need to count them all.”

AP Calculus Christmas Carols (via Youtube)

“I recorded this during my AP Calculus Class right before the
holiday seasons. And when I say we are Math geeks this will prove it to
you!!! Muhahahaha!!!”

A Christmas Proof
(via (x,why?) webcomic)

“I wrote this proof on the blackboard my first year teaching in an 8th grade honors math class in the last five minutes of class on the day before Christmas break.
Strangely, now that I teach in high school, I haven’t been able to use it as I’m never at the right point in the curriculum for them to follow the “logic”.”

Christmas Treats (via (x,why?) webcomic)

“Christmas is about more than the giving and receiving.

It’s also about the baking and the eating.”

## Fox news fail (again)

Remember this pi chart (from Fox News):

Well, turns out Fox News is at it again:

I’m guessing that people can vote for multiple categories.

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