
3 votes

Penrose Unilluminable Room is a room with mirrored walls that can't be fully illuminated by a single point source of light
3 votes 
The hyperbolic geometry of DMT experiences
7 votes 
Repulsive Curves
4 votes 
Why everyone ignored the world's best mathematician
4 votes 
A mathematician explains what Foundation gets right about predicting the future
5 votes 
I need cool facts about huge numbers
So, my 5yearold nephew is obsessed with huge numbers, especially named numbers such as googol, duodecillion, and centillion. The other day I spent some time reciting these numbers to him, and...
So, my 5yearold nephew is obsessed with huge numbers, especially named numbers such as googol, duodecillion, and centillion. The other day I spent some time reciting these numbers to him, and trying (and failing) to describe them. What I need are some cool facts about these numbers, such as "there are 1 quadrillion cat hairs in the world", or "there are not enough stars in the universe to fill one googol".
Besides math, his main interests are superheroes and, apparently, cars.
I'm not a math or physics guy, so hopefully you guys can help me cheat :P
12 votes 
Bertrand's Paradox (with 3blue1brown)
1 vote 
Alice, Bob, and the average shadow of a cube
4 votes 
Hiding images in plain sight: the physics of magic windows
5 votes 
Lehmer Factor Stencils: A paper factoring machine before computers
2 votes 
Analytic Number Theory book club ending today
3 votes 
Our next trip to integer partitions
2 votes 
Our trip to the prime number theorem
9 votes 
Could you avoid being hit by a laser if you were in a room of mirrors?
2 votes 
Squaring primes: Why all prime numbers >3 squared are one off a multiple of 24
10 votes 
The simplest math problem no one can solve
10 votes 
Three months in Monte Carlo
4 votes 
Learning math / mathematical reasoning as an adult
For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play...
For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play chess to even a passable degree, as I'm convinced a toddler could beat me. But most of all, I wish I could learn something like calculus, which has held a strange allure for me even as a young kid. But I was failing math as early as the fifth grade, and do not remember even an iota of information about geometry or trigonometry. Ultimately, I dropped out of school altogether.
A year or so ago I started in the "preK" mathematics category of Khan Academy, because I had such a low opinion of my own abilities. Sure enough, I breezed by it, but even found some parts of the second or third grade curriculum difficult. It's like I was born completely without numerical ability, but I don't want to go so far as to say I have something like dyscalculia, as I at least read analog clocks and musical notation on a daily basis, and have no problem discerning if a number is bigger or smaller than another. I'm also decidedly not aphantastic; quite the opposite. Something I do have is an extreme distrust or even hatred of my own critical thinking abilities. If I mess up simple arithmetic, I'll beat myself up mentally for being "stupid," or an "idiot," and so on for way too long. It's a habit I learned early. Complicating matters is that I'm in my midtwenties, so my neuroplasticity is probably not great. In fact, one of my deepest fears is that it's too late for me to learn any new subject to a competent degree.
This might be a ridiculous thing to say, but I'm hoping someone can reassure me that it's possible to learn math as an adult, even for a "hopeless" case like me. If you've been in a similar situation and have found particular resources helpful, I'd really like to see them. Khan Academy wasn't really my thing, but if it's more or less the best option for someone like me, I'll try it again.
22 votes 
I need help with a story that involves math
I'm creating the concept for a story called The Little Differences. It's about an accountant that, one day, out of the blue, notices that a certain calculation is producing a slightly wrong...
I'm creating the concept for a story called The Little Differences. It's about an accountant that, one day, out of the blue, notices that a certain calculation is producing a slightly wrong result. Barely noticeable, nothing worldchanging,
He runs it on the computer, tries different software, a physical calculator... everything gives a result that's a little off. When he checks on paper himself, he gets the correct result. But, to his surprise, everyone else tells him that he's the one that's off, and that the incorrect result is actually perfectly sound.
I need something that makes sense, mathematically. The weird result must be something that really is wrong, and not just something that programs sometimes get wrong (I don't want it to be explained at all... I mean, the reason why it is occurring must not be something easily reducible to some wellknown malfunction). But it must also be minor enough for someone to miss, something that wouldn't really cause much trouble in the real world (is that possible? IDK).
Lastly: it must be something that I'm able to explain (on some level) to a nonmath reader.
So, Tildes math wizzes, what you suggest? :D
17 votes 
Before you answer, consider the opposite possibility
8 votes 
The unparalleled genius of John von Neumann
13 votes 
How the slowest computer programs illuminate math’s fundamental limits
8 votes 
Imaginary numbers may be essential for describing reality
5 votes 
Sounds of the Mandelbrot set
8 votes 
You could have invented Homology, part 1
6 votes 
A picture of Graham's Number
6 votes 
Why do Biden's votes not follow Benford's Law? Debunking an election fraud claim
24 votes 
Calculus explained and illustrated
6 votes 
Understanding hyperbolic geometry by illuminating it
3 votes 
The universal geometry of geology
10 votes 
Proving that 1=2, Bob Ross style
6 votes 
Decoding the mathematical secrets of plants’ stunning leaf patterns
6 votes 
The art of code  Dylan Beattie
7 votes 
Neutrinos lead to unexpected discovery in basic math
11 votes 
The complete idiot’s guide to the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis: part 1
9 votes 
How eugenics shaped statistics
9 votes 
Measuring the size of the Earth
3 votes 
How storytellers use math (without scaring people away)
4 votes 
What is 0 to the power of 0?
13 votes 
What is math? A teenager asked that ageold question on TikTok, creating a viral backlash, and then, a thoughtful scientific debate
12 votes 
I learned how to do math with the ancient abacus — and it changed my life
9 votes 
A math problem stumped experts for fifty years. This grad student from Maine solved it in days
19 votes 
There are fortyeight regular polyhedra
8 votes 
Terry Tao on what makes good mathematical notation
4 votes 
Division by zero in type theory: a FAQ
4 votes 
Why do prime numbers make these spirals?
12 votes 
The Monty Hall problem
22 votes 
Does anyone have resources for an introduction to semidefinite programming?
I'm interested in the subject, but don't know where to begin investigating it. I tried to look over the code for SeDuMi, but it is much more massive than I had realized. I have a background in...
I'm interested in the subject, but don't know where to begin investigating it. I tried to look over the code for SeDuMi, but it is much more massive than I had realized. I have a background in mathematics, if anyone can point me towards a textbook.
5 votes 
Bertrand Russell’s infinite sock drawer
8 votes