Tanya Khovanova's Math Blog - RSS Feed

Mathematics, applications of mathematics to life in general, and my life as a mathematician.

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I Will Be Hanged

Here is an old goodie. Puzzle. A criminal is sentenced to death. He is offered the last word. He is allowed to make one statement. If the statement is true, the criminal will be electrocuted. If the statement is false, he will be hanged. Can you find a good piece of advice for this man? The standard answer to this puzzle is for the criminal...

Scooter Ideas

Today I discuss ideas for solving the puzzle I posted previously in my blog: A Scooter Riddle. Riddle. Alice, Bob, and Charlie are at Alice’s house. They are going to Bob’s house, which is 33 miles away. They have a 2-seat scooter that goes 25 miles per hour with 1 rider, or 20 miles per hour with 2 riders. Each of the 3 friends has a walking...

Looking for a Well-Educated Gentleman

If you can figure out my number without the Internet, call me. The number of letters in the first name of Anna Karenina’s love.The number of times the word nevermore appears in the famous poem, subtracted from the month when the events took place.The only number in the title of a Bergman movie.The number of vowels in the original and more historically...

Whitehead Links for Ukraine

This is my second crocheting project to help finance our new program, Yulia’s Dream, in honor of Yulia Zdanovska, a young Ukrainian math talent killed in the war. I made four Whitehead links in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. You can read about my other crocheting project in my previous post: Hyperbolic Surfaces for Ukraine. Fun trivia...

Hyperbolic Surfaces for Ukraine

As you might know, my team started a project, Yulia’s Dream, in honor of Yulia Zdanovska, a young Ukrainian math talent killed in the war. In this program, we will do what we are great at — help gifted youngsters pursue advanced math. To help the program, I started crocheting hyperbolic surfaces in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. These crochets...

The Pinocchio and Oihcconip Sequences

What is base 3/2? One of the ways to define such a base is to think of it in terms of exploding dots. What the heck are exploding dots? They are explained and popularized by James Tanton in his YouTube videos. Essentially, “exploding dots” is a machine made of a row of boxes with rules describing how the dots loaded into the machine explode....

My Vision for Number Gossip

I run Number Gossip, where you can input a number and get some of its cute properties. For example, the number 63 is composite, deficient, evil, lucky, and odd. In addition, it has a unique property: 63 is the smallest number out of two (the other being 69), such that the common alphabetical value of its Roman representation is equal to itself. Indeed,...

Retouched Picture of John Conway

One of my posts about John Conway has a picture I took of him in 2015, leafing through a book about himself, Genius at Play. I allowed Wikipedia to use this image, and they did. They also retouched it for their article on John Conway in Dutch. I like the result. Share:

Best of the 2022 MIT Mystery Hunt

Every year, after the MIT Mystery Hunt was over, I would go through all the puzzles and pick out the ones related to mathematics. This year, I didn’t feel like doing it. Besides, I think it is more important to collect quality puzzles rather than all the puzzles by topic. So my new collection is the puzzles recommended to me, which I might like. ...

Crocheting Away My Pain

Putin became the 21st century Hitler. I call him Putler. I am an American. However, I was born in Moscow and lived my youth in the Soviet Union. I speak Russian, and I have friends in both Russia and Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is the biggest tragedy of my life. When Putler invaded Ukraine, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to pick up a rifle...

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