If I’ve counted correctly, this is the 45th Carnival of Math. I’m going to call this the Procrastination Edition (since for most of us, we are getting into that end-of-the-semester crunch and if you’re reading this, it is probably because you’re avoiding paper-grading, test-writing, or some kind of emergency end-of-the-semester meeting).
If you’re postponing the grading of Number Theory assignments, then go over to 360, and read their submission called Perfection (about perfect numbers and their appearance on the TV show Bones).
If you’ve got a stack of History of Math projects to grade, and you’d rather not, take a look at Jason’s submission On the Ancient Babylonian Value for Pi.
If there’s a stack of Business Math tests you’re hiding from, check out Vlorbik’s submission, Trust the Code.
If you’ve got to write a test on sequences, here’s a post about geometric progressions that you’ll have to read instead, The Sex Lives of the Jade Emperors. Bonus for you if you can work it into a test question and avoid the Dean’s office.
If there’s a decision you’re trying to make, or avoid making, check out the awesome decision tree in Parts Assembly and the Burr Puzzle Antimatroid.
If you’ve just got too much to do, maybe you can comfort yourself by using the Pigeonhole principle to prove to yourself that someone else out there in the world has the exact same number of things to do. Check out 16 Fun Applications of the Pigeonhole Principle.
If you’re trying to work out how to respond to the mystery student emails (you know, the ones that say “I can’t make the test, can I do a makeup?” with no identifying information about who the student is or what class they are in, then you should definitely check out Mystery Mathematicians (about the Life Magazine pictures archive and some photos of mystery mathematicians).
If this latest crop of students is causing you to have an identity crisis, then go read John’s post on an interesting Identity involving tangents, When does the sum of three numbers equal their product?
If the end of the semester is so bad that you’re thinking of a career change, maybe you ought to consider How to Create and Generate Valid Credit Card Numbers. Honestly, I thought this submission was a spam at first, but it really is the math behind valid credit card numbers.
Now, maybe you’re procrastinating the holidays (and not the end-of-the-semester crunch). No worries … I’ve got holiday procrastination for you too!
If you’re avoiding holiday gift-buying, then see if the book Mathematics: A Very Long Introduction is a good gift choice for anyone by reading Edmond’s review at Maxwell’s Demons.
If it’s that holiday letter-writing that you’re trying to get out of, check out Mike’s post about Mathematical Christmas Cards instead.
Finally, if you’re just spinning your wheels on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything, why not contemplate whether math existed before there were written words by reading (or listening to) my submission, Math and the End of the Written Word.
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