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.

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

Math Teachers at Play #31 via Homeschool Bytes

Math Teachers at Play #31 offers ten posts about learning and teaching math (appropriate for the 10th month of ’10) at Homeschool Bytes.

Mixing play with learning math is so much more effective for my kids. So, here are some great ideas on how to take the “boring” out of learning math and make it an Adventure . . .

Read the whole carnival!

Mathematics and Multimedia Carnival #4 via Wild About Math

Welcome to the 4th edition of the Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival … Four is the smallest composite number, its proper divisors being 1 and 2. Four is also a highly composite number … 4 is the smallest squared prime (p2) and the only even number in this form ….

Read It All !

Reminder: Math Posts Wanted

Now is the time to send in your blog posts for the next Math Teachers at Play blog carnival, coming this Friday to Homeschool Bytes. You don’t have to be a teacher to join in the fun! MTaP covers mathematics from preschool through the first year of calculus, and we welcome any posts about learning, teaching, or just playing around with math.

Would you like to host an edition of the MTaP? Read How To Host a Blog Carnival, and then drop me an email or leave a comment on this post.

Lewis Carroll’s Logic Challenges

Workplace stress caused by an unsuitable work ...
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Symbolic Logic Part I was published in 1896. When Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) died two years later, Part II was lost. Because they couldn’t find the manuscript, many people doubted that he ever wrote Part II. But almost eighty years after his death, portions of Part II were recovered and finally published. The following puzzles are from the combined volume, Lewis Carroll’s Symbolic Logic, edited by William Warren Bartley, III.

These puzzles are called soriteses or polysyllogisms. Carroll began with a series of “if this, then that” statements. He rewrote them to make them more confusing, and then he mixed up the order to create a challenging puzzle.

Given each set of premises, what conclusion can you reach?

Continue reading Lewis Carroll’s Logic Challenges