Doing a school project on mathematicians? Don’t pick Einstein like your mom would… pick one from the following list instead. Then google their name + wikipedia, and tada, instant math project done!

Hippias

Recorde, Robert

Ferrari, Ludovico

Viete, Francois

Mahavira

Bhaskara

Fibonacci

Stifel, Michael

Tartaglia, Niccolo

Cardano, Girolamo

Ahmes

Pythagoras

Hippocrates

Plato

Ceulen, Ludolph van

Stevin, Simon

Theaetetus

Archytas

Xenocrates

Theodorus

Napier, John

Cataldi, Pietro Antonio

Briggs, Henry

Kepler, Johannes

Oughtred, William

Bachet, Claude-Gaspar, de Meziriac

Mersenne, Marin

Ptolemy

Nicomachus of Gerasa

Theon of Smyrna

Diophantus I

Pappus

Iamblichus

Girard, Albert

Desargues, Girard

Descartes, Rene

Fermat, Pierre de

Proclus

Tsu Ch’ung-Chi

Brahmagupta

Al-Khwarizmi

Heron of Alexandria

Thabit ibn Qurra

Machin, John

Bernoulli, Nikolaus

Goldbach, Christian

Stirling, James

Euler, Leonhard

Buffon, Count Georges

Lambert, Johann

Eratosthenes

Diocles

Hipparchus

Lagrange, Joseph Louis

Brouncker, Lord William

Pascal, Blaise

Huygens, Christian

Newton, Isaac

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm

Bernoulli, Johann

Wilson, John

Wessel, Caspar

Riemann, Bemard

Venn, John

Lucas, Edouard

Cantor, George

Lindemann, Ferdinand

Hilbert, David

Lehmer, D. N.

Hardy, G. H.

Ramanujan, Srinivasa

Erdos, Paul

Laplace, Pierre Simon de

Legendre, Adrien Marie

Nieuwland, Pieter

Ruffini, Paolo

Argand, Jean Robert

Gauss, Karl Friedrich

Brianchon, Charles

Binet, Jacques-Philippe-Marie

Möbius, August Ferdinand

Babbage, Charles

Laine, Gabriel

Steiner, Jakob

de Morgan, Augustus

Liouville, Joseph

Shanks, William

Catalan, Eugene Charles

Chu Shih-chieh

Pacioli, Fra Luca

Leonardo da Vinci

Aristotle

Menaechmus

Euclid

Archimedes

Nicomedes

Dürer, Albrecht

Hermite, Charles

## List of famous mathematicians

## More funny exam answers

## A couple of math jokes

Practically every joke has a bar:

- The number twelve goes into a bar.. and he asks the server for a pint of beer.
- “Sorry, I can’t serve you,” says the server.
- “Why the heck not?!” asks the number twelve!
- “You’re under 18,” replies the server.

Another one which may make sense to some mathematicians:

– Several scientists were all asked the following question: “What is pi ?”

– The engineer said: “It is approximately 3 and 1/7”

– The physicist said: “It is 3.14159”

– The mathematician thought a bit, and replied “It is equal to pi”.

## Wolfram Alpha Homework Day

Wolfram|Alpha homework day is TODAY! Go check it out at their site. Throughout Homework Day, Stephen Wolfram and rest of the team will answer tough questions and highlight some of the creative submissions from students (and teachers). You can send them questions throughout the day (and could be eligible for prizes). It lasts from noon – 2am.

## Funny Exam Answers

**More funny exam answers…**

The first one is where a student answers “C” for every answer, but it was a true/false test so only answers “A” and “B” applied, LOL… see the remark from the prof below.

**Oh dear…**

**Nice! 100%, gotta love it.**

**Lovely circus picture!**

**Okay, not math related but I love the tv show “The Office”…**

## Guide to writing a math proof

Need help writing a proof? Need to give your ‘kids’ some guidelines? Then check out:

Written by Eugenia Cheng, who is at the University of Chicago.

In it you will find:

1 What does a proof look like?

2 Why is writing a proof hard?

3 What sort of things do we try and prove?

4 The general shape of a proof

5 What doesn’t a proof look like?

6 Practicalities: how to think up a proof

7 Some more specific shapes of proofs

8 Proof by contradiction

9 Exercises: What is wrong with the following proofs”?

This is a very helpful resource and available freely on Eugenia’s website (at least for now…)

## FailAds

FailAds.com is a site that has some funny pictures of advertisements. This particular one is someone looking for a math tudor:

You can visit their site for a collection of other epic fail ads, funny pictures of Engrish, pwned, Tshirts, signs, magazine ads, instructions, packaging and lots more.

## Tower Stack game strategy (aka tower bricks, tower blocks)

Hey guys, there is this game called “Tower Stack” or “Tower Bricks” or “Tower Blocks” (among other names) and you can play it on Facebook, or MindJolt Games, or Brothersoft Games (etc).

Here is a screenshot to show what I am talking about:

What you have to do is:

- – build tower as tall as possible
- – blocks swing at top and you click mouse to drop them
- – block will fall after you click and it MUST land on top of the block that you dropped previously (otherwise you lose a “life” – you have 3 “lives”)
- – if you drop PERFECTLY on top, you get bonus points
- – as the tower gets bigger, it starts to shake back and forth making it harder to drop the blocks on top

Okay, let’s do the first block. Just drop it anywhere on the platform as shown below.

Now drop the second block on top (see image below).

You now have 200 points, 100 from dropping the first block, and 100

from dropping the second block. Notice the 2 on the bottom left of the

screen – that records the # of blocks dropped so far. Theoretically, you could go on forever dropping the blocks in this fashion scoring 100 points per drop. But as mentioned above you could get bonus points if you drop it perfectly on top as shown below:

Here we got 200 points instead of 100! Let’s do another perfect drop:

Wowzers! 250 this time, instead 100 or 200! If we mess up it goes back to 100 as shown below:

Get 4 in a row and it’s 300 points for that 4th block:

Get 6 in a row and it’s 400 points for that 6th block:

So let’s do some math! Basically the scoring works as follows:

**Imperfect drops score:**

100 points

100 points

**Perfect drops score as follows:
(# perfect blocks in a row, score for that block)
(1, 100)
(2, 200)
(3, 250)
(4, 300)
(5, 350)
(6, 400)(7, 450)(8, 500)…(n, 50n + 100)**

What this means is that if you have n-1 perfect drops in a row, on the n’th perfect drop you will score an amazing 50n+100 points! (Note that for simplicity, we take the convention that the first drop was perfect).

Obviously one can figure out the optimal strategy now. If you keep getting imperfect drops, then you only get 100 points per drop:

But if you keep getting perfect drops you will score HUGE points on each drop. Below I had 19 perfect drops, so on that drop I got an outstanding 1050. If I get another perfect drop after that, the next one will be worth 1100.

It gets harder as you get lots of blocks. In the final image below I made it up to 132 blocks, but I didn’t score that high because I just couldn’t get in the rhythm of successive perfect drops.

So the question you should ask yourself is:**how high of a score can you get?**

Well, let’s assume you only have 100 blocks to drop until it becomes too hard and the game ends.

(i) If you do 100 imperfect drops, each drop will be worth 100 points. Thus, the score would amount to:

**10,000 points**.

(ii) On the contrary, what if you have a perfect game so far. Then you would receive the following points:

**100 + 200 + 250 + 300 + 350 + 400 + 450 + …**

Can you see what the last number will be in this sum?

If you said 5100 then you are right! This is the number of points you would get on the 100’th drop, and you can use the formula I presented to you above: 50n + 100.

Do you remember how to add up sums of numbers? Let’s do it in general. Let’s say you get n perfect drops in a row. How many total points would you get from those n drops? The total is:

**. Let’s do an example. If n=5 then the total score you will have after 5 perfect drops is: 1200.**

*if you get n PERFECT drops in a row the TOTAL number of points you will score is 25(n^2 + 5n – 2)*If you get 100 perfect drops in a row (which is possible!) then your total score will be:

**262,450**

That’s an amazing score! I checked facebook and people have like 1,600,000, which seems totally impossible, but if you get 200 perfect drops in a row you’re looking at a score of over 1,000,000. Now, mathematically it’s possible, but come on!! Who is going to play a game for that long and be that dedicated to get so many perfect drops! I call cheats/hacks! (if it’s a real score then I’m truly jealous)!

## xkcd comic – airports

## Balloon boy fail (do the math)

Ya so I keep hearing about this balloon boy… although I haven’t actually read any news articles on it, so based on headlines I keep seeing this is what I suspect happened:

– Richard Heene makes experimental helium balloon

– Heene & wife freakout since their “son” may be in the basket

– crapload of publicity, balloon comes down, son not in there

– son was actually in the Heene house attic all along

– 4chan delivers pizza to balloon boy

– news now reporting the stunt was a hoax

– charges filed against Heene

So what does this have anything to do with math? Well I came across this post about someone doing the “math behind the balloon boy story“. Basically they do some fancy calculations to see if it was ever possible for such a crappy balloon to lift a small boy:

“Was it ever even possible that a 20′ x 5′ helium balloon could lift

the weight of a six-year-old to 8,000 feet MSL? Let’s take a look at

some numbers. Taking Falcon Heene’s father at his reported word, the

balloon that news helicopters followed for two hours Thursday (because

they thought Falcon was aboard) was 20 feet by five feet. We don’t know

if that included the compartment at the bottom — so let’s be

conservative and assume it did not.”

You can find the rest of the post here.

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