Friday, September 10, 2010

An exciting place to start

The readers that are familiar with my Myspace problem series can probably disregard this post. 

This problem is actually "borrowed" from the xkcd series (I don't intend to infringe on anyone's intellectual property rights, this is just an exercise in mathematical might).  I'm not sure how blogger regards external links, but it's the comic entitled "Substitute."  Given that information, I'm sure you will have no problem finding the original comic.  If, on the other hand, you're not familiar with xkcd, I highly recommend that you check it out.  It's a very funny comic.

Now, let's get to the fun stuff.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::The Problem::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

A velociraptor spots you 40 meters away and attacks, accelerating at 4 m/s^2 up to its top speed of 25 m/s.  When it spots you, you begin to flee, quickly reaching your top speed of 6 m/s.  How far can you get before you're caught and devoured?

There are a few of things that we need to assume, the most important one is that you reach top speed instantaneously. The second item we must assume is that this velociraptor is alive and capable of attacking you, and the last thing we need to assume is that if we spotted a velociraptor, we would be inclined to run at top speed away from it.  I mean, they were the size of a turkey and had feathers.
At any rate, if you have questions, feel free to ask.  Post solutions in the comments and remember to show your work.
Good luck! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Probably the Nerdiest Thing About Me

I collect calculators.

I have yet to amass a huge collection, but I'm on a path toward one. 

This TI-1050 is probably the neatest one that I own.  It takes a 9V battery and emits a high-pitched frequency when it's on.  When you perform an operation, like square root, all of the digits fill up and it appears as though it's randomly scrolling through numbers before settling on an answer.  It's neat.

My "go-to" calculator is a TI-89 Titanium.  If you're in a math class or will be taking one I highly recommend this one.  It does so much.  You can even find some emulators of it if you know where to look.

If you're helplessly nerdy, and want in on this pointless hobby, you can often find some really good deals on eBay.  For example, I found a lot of 3 calculators made to look and smell like chocolate for $0.99.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The General Purpose of this Blog.

This blog is a more accessible version of the Problem Solving blog I had on Myspace.  Since that site is somewhat of a dying trend, I'll try to harvest some of the more memorable problems and concepts and build upon them here. 

The problems and concepts covered in these writings has the potential to vary greatly from week to week.  I'll try to keep things conceptually simple, but I can't make any guarantees. 

Basically, I want to use this to highlight some of my favorite parts of Mathematics.  We'll see algebra, trigonometry, geometry, probability and statistics, we may even get into some calculus and numerical analysis.  I promise that I'll try my best to make things as lucid as possible. 

It always irks me when a person will say, "I'm not a math person."  Or, "I got as far as basic algebra and that was all I could understand."  Mathematics is the language of our universe and if we look hard enough, sometimes we can see the fabric of our own reality.  I'll never be able to understand how we became a world full of math-illiterates.  I'll try to do what little I can to change that.