# Tag: maths

• ## The maths and physics of walking in the sand

I love this – which I picked up from Ian Stewart’s now slightly out-of-date (e.g., pre-proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem) and out-of-printÂ The Problems of Mathematics (but a good read and on sale very cheaply at Amazon) – because it demonstrates the harmony of physics with maths, is based on a common experience and is also […]

• ## The evolution of the astroid pattern on the spirograph

Here is a MetaPost generated picture of the first 14% or so movements of an inner circle one quarter of the size of the outer circle (as might be found on a spirograph). This eventually generates the astroid pattern. The red arrows follow the movement of a fixed point on the smaller circle – as […]

• ## The maths of the spirograph… with the drawings

Well, I sat down and thought this was going to be easy, but it has taken me three hours to work the maths of a smaller inner wheel rolling around inside a large outer wheel: mainly because for the first two of those I neglected the basic insight that the inner wheel rolls in the […]

• ## The maths of the spirograph

I wrote this on Saturday >> I have been reading some more of Wheels, Life and Other Mathematical Amusements: in fact I just read the rest of the first chapter on wheels. And so now I know about the maths of the spirograph.   << Since then I have been fitfully working out how to […]

• ## From The Selfish Gene to Alan Turing: the Enigma

As I spend a lot of time in the gym (honestly) I have decided to use that a little more productively and listen to decent non-fiction audio books – and I have just finished listening to Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene. I quite enjoyed the book (or the recording) in the end – certainly added […]

• ## Volume of a ball

As ane fule kno the volume of a ball (ie., the interior of a sphere) is . But I have just had one of those “why’s that then” moments and sought to prove to myself, using integration, why this would be so. But my logic is flawed and I get the wrong result – so […]

• ## My (computer science) book of the year

It wasn’t published in 2011 but The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing’s Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine is without doubt my computer science book of the year. If books can change your life then The Annotated Turing changed mine – because it showed me just how strong the link […]

• ## The tyranny of the arts graduates continues

I imagine in Michael Gove‘s world, this has been a good week. The UK’s secretary of state for education has been in the news a lot this week, and that seems to be the key metric for him – after all his qualifications for the job essentially seem to be that he was once a […]

• ## Fantastic Android application for LaTeX users

Detexify: I downloaded this today – an application that allows you to draw a symbol and it tells you the LaTeX code for it. How cool is that? Though I haven’t actually found a need to use it ‘in anger’, I just love the idea!