A Couple of Chess Puzzles

Checkmate2
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Chess is a favorite game for recreational mathematicians — not to play it, but to play around with it. Many puzzles and challenges are based on the moves of chess pieces.

Stretch your brain with these puzzles:

  • Can you go on a Knight’s Tour? Start your knight on any square, and try to hop around to all the rest.
  • Or, how many queens can you place on the board so that no queen can capture another?

Continue reading A Couple of Chess Puzzles

A Harmonic Series Paradox

For my Calculus for Young People students: Beware! We studied a few infinite series that converge to a nice, tame sum — but not all series are so well behaved.

Check out this mind-blowing video from the author of Math Without Words:

[See also: Harmonic Series Quotation and For Niner: A Bit of Calculus Fun.]


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

2010 Mathematics Game Update


[Photo by pfala.]

Thanks to John Cook’s article about factorials in the recent Mathematics and Multimedia Carnival, we’re adding new rules to the 2010 Mathematics Game.

Let’s play with multifactorials!

Continue reading 2010 Mathematics Game Update

Hey, Look — I’m Famous!

Do you Google yourself? It’s a good way to check up on your online reputation. I recently ran a search for my name, and who would have guessed I was so well known?

Actually, I’ve been editing my old “how to teach homeschool math” books, hoping to republish them someday, but I needed a break. So when I noticed the “create your own spoof” email from Swagbucks, I couldn’t resist. Hope you enjoyed it!


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Quotations XXV: Math is a Game

Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper.

David Hilbert
quoted by Nicholas Rose, Mathematical Maxims and Minims

It’s like asking why Beethoven’s Ninth symphony is beautiful. If you don’t see why, someone can’t tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren’t beautiful, nothing is.

Paul Erdös

Continue reading Quotations XXV: Math is a Game

Free Math History: Number Stories of Long Ago

David Eugene Smith tells how arithmetic developed in different cultures. The file is available from Google Reader, if you are in the U.S., but international readers have had trouble finding the book. If you’d like to download a copy, it will be featured this Monday at the Homeschool Freebie of the Day site.

Math History from the Story Teller

“Night after night he told these tales of the ages past, stories unlike the make believes they had often heard, stories of what might really have happened when the world was young, stories that the Crowd said were ‘different’ because they told of much that was new, much that was curious, and much that was interesting. . . .”


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.