Recap for May 2013

2013-05-21 19.00.05 (Small)With several new members joining us this month (yay!), we began our MathJam with a few rounds of SET. Most of the newbies to the group had not seen this game before, so the regulars had a distinct advantage…well, at least for the first wee while! There were a couple of VERY quick studies to the game –  a promising start to the evening!

Next, we shared our favourite reads for the upcoming MathJam hiatus. We must have something to do when we are not meeting again until September! Favourite titles included, but were not limited to, 2013-05-21 19.46.29 (Small)the following:

The Housekeeper and The Professor, by Yoko Ogawa

Here’s Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos

Is God a Mathematician by Mario Livio

My biggest smile of the night came with the display of Ian’s (our Ian, not the author) books.  They were all written by an Ian…the same Ian but a different Ian than our Ian…yes, it was confusing that night, too. In short, I think that Ian Stewart has a fan!

Some of the Ian Stewart books shared:

In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

Another Fine Math You’ve Got Me Into

Does God Play Dice?

Book sharing came to an abrupt end with a question about vulgar fractions. That prompted several conversations around the table, including a lovely little problem shared by one of the newbies. It was from one of the books shown in the above photo – The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Puzzles, by David Wells. Problem: using the digits from 1 to 9 inclusive, write a fraction that has an equivalent to one-half. Once we found the first one, we decided that there had to be others. And there were. We just don’t know if we found them all. Being the last ones up and jamming, we didn’t tweet it out. Perhaps someone will read the problem here and offer up a solution. That would be sweet to tweet next time!

We found a problem on the MathsJam twitter feed, and got to it. One of our newbies found 2013-05-21 20.47.23 (Small)a lovely solution and quite quickly, too, I might add! It was the one about a square, side length one unit…and fitting in the largest semi-circle inside….what would the radius be of said circle. Fun problem – geometry is always a hit with this crowd!

We had a few more maths recreational puzzles and conversations, and we even did some model building, but the time was fast approaching 10 p.m. While I am sure we could have jammed all night, responsibilities 2013-05-21 20.14.58 (Small)beckoned, and we had to call it a night.

Great to see so many new members out this month. Here’s hoping that we left them wanting for more…

We didn’t get to the promised origami, as time ran short. Next time!

Which, by the way, is in a very long time. With most of the regulars out of town for the summer months, we have agreed to take a break until the September meeting. Looking to hearing about the great summer reads and other mathematical mischief at that time.

Posted by Sherri