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Math + Halloween, Part 4

It’s that time of year again. If you are looking for some math-themed costume ideas, then look no further. Though it gets harder to keep this tradition with each passing year, here are a few ideas is you’re looking to rock that mathematical look at whatever event you are planning to attend during this frightful Halloween season. Ideas from previous years can be found here, here, and here.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Tony Stark

Yes, yes, I know – since Iron Man hit the screens in the summer of 2008, the titular character has become a popular costume idea, joining the ranks of comic book icons like Superman and Spiderman. I’m not talking about dressing up as Iron Man, though. Instead, I am recommending a costume based on the man inside the suit – Tony Stark, playboy billionaire and (more importantly) mathematical w√ľnderkind. All you really need is . . . → Read More: Math + Halloween, Part 4

Math of the Rubik’s Cube

It’s rare for mathematical research to break into the mainstream media. New papers are posted on the arXiv every day, and published in journals all over the world throughout the year, but unless a famous problem is purported to have been solved (in this case, a famous problem is usually one that has a cash prize associated with its solution), knowledge of such advances is only found by those specifically seeking it. Last week, however, there an exception to this general rule was made for a new result concerning the Rubik’s cube.The conclusion, reached by an international team of mathematicians, is that the Rubik’s cube can always be solved in 20 moves or less, and that, moreover, their result is in some sense the best possible. This result was featured on the front page of Yahoo News for a couple of days, which I found surprising.

What do I mean . . . → Read More: Math of the Rubik’s Cube