Category Archives: games

Kenken-friendly numbers

I messed up a kenken the other day, carelessly forgetting that 2, 3, 4 and 6 are not the only divisors of 12. Later, mulling over my mistake, I realized that it’s the presence of the multiplicative identity that gives … Continue reading

Posted in featured, games, mathematics | 12 Comments

The ormat game

Here’s the deal. I’m going to give you a square grid, with some of the cells colored and others possibly left blank. We’ll call this a template. Perhaps the grid will be one of these 3×3 templates: You have a … Continue reading

Posted in computing, games, mathematics, physics, statistics | 2 Comments

Four questions about fuzzy rankings

The National Research Council is getting ready to release a new assessment of graduate-education programs in the U.S. The previous study, published in 1995, gave each Ph.D.-granting department a numerical score between 0 and 5, then listed all the programs … Continue reading

Posted in computing, games, mathematics, problems and puzzles, statistics | 22 Comments

A shy woodland creature

Martin Gardner died over the weekend. He was 95 and living in Norman, Oklahoma, not too far from his birthplace in Tulsa. Like many others, I grew up on Martin’s “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American. Later I joined the … Continue reading

Posted in games, problems and puzzles | 5 Comments

Big Money

(Photo courtesy ZeroOne.) It’s a cruel irony: As the citizens of Zimbabwe sink into bitter poverty, they are becoming millionaires and billionaires. Inflation is eroding the value of the Zimbabwean dollar so rapidly that everyday transactions turn into lessons in … Continue reading

Posted in games, modern life, statistics | 4 Comments