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Mathalicious Post: To Foul Or Not To Foul

Greetings, mathletes. As some of you know, I’ve recently joined the crew of good folks at Mathalicious. Consequently, the blog work here is in a bit of a transition, but don’t worry! I will still be around, though the focus may shift somewhat.

How Math Goes Pop! will be changing is the subject for another post. One thing’s for sure, though: I’ll be contributing to the Mathalicious blog regularly. My first post, on whether or not it makes sense to foul the opposing team at the buzzer in a close basketball game, went live last week. Here’s a small sample:

A three point shot by Sundiata Gaines turned a two-point loss for the Jazz into a one-point win. No doubt that’s a tough defeat for Cavs fans and players alike, but in such a situation, there’s really nothing the defense could’ve done to change the outcome.

Or is there? What . . . → Read More: Mathalicious Post: To Foul Or Not To Foul

Mathematics Awareness Month 2010

As April comes and goes, so too does Mathematics Awareness Month. Every year, the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics swirls mathematics with a different delightful discipline: last year it was climate, and the year before was voting.

This year’s theme is mathematics and sports, a topic which has inspired a number of articles here on this site. As usual, there are a number of essays that discuss this theme from various perspectives; while usual suspects such as football and baseball play a central role in many of the essays, other sports get to mingle with mathematics as well, including track, golf, and tennis (also NASCAR, if you consider that a sport).

This dude always thinks about math when he is golfing.

There are too many articles to discuss, so I’d encourage you to go take a look and see if anything strikes your . . . → Read More: Mathematics Awareness Month 2010

The Math of March Madness

With the NCAA college basketball tournament now well under way, no doubt many of you are following the games closely, and vying for your teams to make it to that sacred promised land known as the Final Four. Even the President’s caught some of the madness.

When filling out a bracket, of course you would like to predict as many games correctly as possible. No doubt a thorough understanding of the teams can help in this endeavor, as well as a careful analysis of their performance throughout the season. But none of us is perfect, and we are bound to make some incorrect predictions.

Even if you are quite skilled when it comes to picking winners, and can pick correctly 75% of the time, the odds of you selecting the correct winner for each game of the tournament are about 1 in 74,325,939. Roughly speaking, this means that even if . . . → Read More: The Math of March Madness