Monday 29 February 2016

Bonus - Cubic Formula Song

Author Aside:
 Picture it. Late Sunday night, not really feeling like grading papers, and two tweets seen in the last 48 hours coalesce in my head. One about the cubic formula, the other about gospel... music? If you read my math comic, you know my mind makes weird links.

But hey, math can be a religious experience. So 24 hours later, I present the following. As Doc Brown might say, "please excuse the crudity of this model, I didn't have time to build it to scale or to paint it". I'll probably add it to the other thirty math parodies I have (at that link, most powerpoint only) later, once I figure out how to categorize it.

Happy Leap Day!


Math-Tans  present....

  tune of “I WILL FOLLOW HIM” (From "Sister Act")

(To see the scene/song in question click this video link.)
(To read about the cubic formula itself click this link.)
(To hear Mr. Taylor's attempt at singing it click for this google mp3 file.)

Start with b times c.
It’s on six a-squared, now minus d...
On 2a, then minus b-cubed
On twenty-seven with a-cubed.
Let’s call that q? Agreed.

Take cube root of q -
as ADDED inside of this square root...
q squared, once it’s summed to this cube:
c on 3a, minus squared-b
on 9 squared-a’s!
 We’re nearly half-waaaaaay!


That square root, you ADDED, we’ll use it,
But now we will SUBTRACT it, still from q, cube root too!

This gives two numbers.
Kind of six... look, sum the cubes you know.
Then minus b on 3 with a,
We’ll set that to x and hurray! Wait, what was q?

(We’ll get it, we’ll get it)

We took b times c   (DUET: B times C!)
It’s on six a-squared, now minus d   (Oooh ooh!)
On 2a, then minus b-cubed   (B Cubed?!)
On twenty seven with a-cubed.
That we called q!
Used four times, it’s true!

Whoa, yeah! Oh yes, solve cubics!
(Degree three!)
Four coefficients!
(Too much!)
Imaginary answers!
(So complex!)
You’ll wish you’d learned to factor!

That square root, you ADDED, we’ll use it,
But now we will SUBTRACT it, still from q, cube root too!
Gives numbers, so get their sum, minus b, on 3a,
Set that to x at leisure, or never, whateverrrr...

If you think that’s only one x,
Remember cube roots of complex!
Gives us all three!
All three solutiooooooons!

(Hallelujah. Feel free to stop by again, the math comic updates every Monday.)

S7.254 - Isn't It Ionic

In 2011, I published on Sunday and Wednesday.
Four years ago, I did a whole Leap Year Calendar Special.
We weren't supposed to publish on Feb 29th again!

Personified math has been 12% of my life.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much about it.
Aside: This date means I've owned my house for 4 years.

Anyway, as a reward for you reading today, here’s links to Matt Parker talking about the 128 Calendar, and Ms. I’s Science Video “Isn’t It Ionic”!


QT: That tear’s not our doing. It’s external.
MAUD: It’s Taylor’s Polynomials.
PARA: Your imaginary cereal? Why would it cause that rift?
MAUD: I don’t kn-- oh! The DATE! It’s breaking down our realities!
[TEXT: Sexi: As a final note, the day of the week for February 29th is reverse cyclical, running Monday, Saturday, Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday, Friday, Wednesday... meaning (if nothing changes) MathTans (aka Taylor's Polynomials) won't be leaping on a publishing day again until 2032. When we will most likely no longer be publishing.]
MAUD'S VOICE: I seem to be having a tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.
EXPONA: Well, this is a status breaker.
MAUD: You have no idea.
MAUD: The mission has failed.
COT: THE Miss Ion? From the science beauty contest?
CSC: Don’t space out...

Monday 22 February 2016

S7.253 - Point Break

Yes, "minutes of arc" used to be an angle measure. Actually, the serial has covered this before.


SINE: If this weapon works, and we eliminate decimals, angles can be measured in minutes again!
LYN: Hey, 'tans...
NIS: Oh, this setup will work. We've been checking continuously.
HYPER: You mean discretely!
LYN: 'Tans...
QUINN: You're not listening to us! Gamma, my rocket launcher?
LYN: A tear in reality!
ROOT: Ooh. Someone miss a decimal point?
MAUD: (thinks) So much for my undercover work.

Monday 15 February 2016

S7.252 - Being Judgemental

You can listen to Sir Kenneth Robinson talk education reform here.
You can also see how “judgy” plans involving rocket launchers might work out.


GAMMA: I hear you're one of the few who don't like the decimal war.
QUINN: Decimals aren't the real enemy.
QUINN: Even calculators aren't the issue here. Solving problems isn't as simple as removing topic x or including concept y. It's a matter of changing mindsets. Of ceasing to put people into batches for convenience. We need to shake up the status quo!
QUINN: Will you come with me, to help convince the others?
GAMMA: Sure.
GAMMA: What if our diplomacy fails?
QUINN: My Plan B generally involves a rocket launcher.

Monday 8 February 2016

S7.251 - Catching Up

More on the tiling here at aperiodical.
More on the largest prime here at Numberphile.
With thanks to Ashtâr Balînestyâr for suggesting Gamma.


LOGAN: And a new 15th pentagonal tiling was found last year.
RADIK: You got that right.
GAMMA: Tell me about it.
ROOT: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
LOGAN: And GIMPS discovered a new largest prime last month.
RADIK: You got that right.
GAMMA: Tell me about it.
ROOT: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
(Door clicks)
PARA: We have now declared a war on decimals!
(Door slams)
LOGAN: And the other functions are up to something today.
RADIK: You got that right.
GAMMA: Tell me about it.
ROOT: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.

Monday 1 February 2016

S7.250 - Base Attack Bonus

Your Bonus: Can java count in Base 37?
Did anyone expect we'd reach 250? (Is anyone there?)


MAUD: This is episode 250!
QT: It's number 28.
MAUD: It's 250!
QT: It's 28.
MAUD: Count from the serial out there.
QT: Count from the webcomic in here.
CUBI: Count using base 121.
CUBI: Seriously, in base 121 the 28 becomes 2x121 + 8x1 = 250. Both happy now?
MAUD: No, base 16 is more popular.
QT: No, how do we express 11^2 symbols?
CUBI: At least you agree about that.