Math Horizons April 2010 : Page 3

Contents p20 p12 p5 5 Lipping Out and Laying Up: G.H. Hardy and J.E. Littlewood’s Curious Encounters with the Mathematics of Golf Roland Minton Is it better to go around a lake in two shots or try to hit over with one swing? Can a putt really go “in and out” of the hole? Surprising answers from two very surprising sources. 10 The View from Here: Channeling Galois Katharine Merow If the Indian goddess Namagiri really provided Ramanujan with pages of exquisite theorems, then it isn’t an honor violation for the spirit of Évariste Galois to offer a little assistance on exam problem 6b…Is it? 12 The Adventures of -Man: Measuring the Universe Lawrence Brenton Trained at the feet of Euclid and armed with only a pocket watch and yardstick, our superhero sets off to discover the mass of the Earth, the shape of space, and the ultimate fate of the universe. 16 March Madness to Movies Tim Chartier, Amy Langville, and Peter Simov A ranking algorithm that demonstrated uncanny success forecasting the NCAA tournament is put to the test to decide the best movie of the decade. 20 The Mobile Mathematical Society: Bringing Math to the People Dan Silver Inspired by the early days of England’s Royal Society, a history of mathematics class brings the spirit of philosophical discourse back to life in the coffee houses of Mobile, Alabama. 22 A Conversation with Archimedes Ezra Brown Eureka! Antiquity’s greatest mathematician travels through time to set the record straight on the Archimedean solids, who invented calculus, why Euclid continues to dominate the best-seller lists, and just exactly what happened in that famous bathtub. 25 A Dozen Harmonious Questions James Tanton A twelve-toned melody of problems composed around the theme of Pythagorus and his harmonic sequence. 31 The Playground The MH problems section, edited by Derek Smith 34 Aftermath: The Intermediate Under-Valued Theorem Bruce Peterson Applications of the Intermediate Value Theorem are completely obvious—except when they aren’t. APRIL 2010 • MATH HORIZONS • WWW.MAA.ORG/MATHHORIZONS 3 p25 p16

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