# Category Archives: mathematics

## Pumping the Primes

On your desktop is a black box. Actually it’s an orange box, because black boxes are usually painted “a highly visible vermilion colour known as international orange.” In any case, it’s an opaque box: You can’t see the whirling gears … Continue reading

## Traffic Jams in Javascript

Building bigger roads can make traffic worse. The usual explanation for this counterintuitive and counterproductive outcome is that bigger roads attract bigger shopping malls, which in turn attract more cars. But that’s not the whole story. In the 1960s Dietrich … Continue reading

## Mrs. Nguyen’s prestidigitation

From a set of 1 through 9 playing cards, I draw five cards and get cards showing 8, 4, 2, 7, and 5. I ask my 6th graders to make a 3-digit number and a 2-digit number that would yield … Continue reading

## A quasirandom talk

I’ll be giving a talk at Harvard this Friday, February 6: “Orderly Randomness: Quasirandom Numbers and Quasiâ€“Monte Carlo.” If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by. Lunch at 12:30; quasirandomness at 1:00 pm. Update 2015-02-08: Slides online. And video.

## 600613

Pick a number, N, then try searching for it on the web via Bing or Google (or maybe the leet version of Google). What can you expect to learn? I wasn’t quite sure of the answer, so I ran some … Continue reading