Guest Post: Spooky Math

Today’s guest post comes from Madison Hodson, an instructor at AcerPlacer who studies mathematics at Weber State University.

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by it’s diameter..? Pumpkin Pie! It’s Maddy here, and since it’s Halloween, I thought I would open up this little article with a Halloween math joke – I’ll try to keep the theme of connecting Halloween and math going throughout the article. Thanks to the internet, I was able to do a little research and find out some weird, creepy, and spooky facts about some numbers!

Vampire Numbers

A number v = xy with an even number of n digits formed by multiplying a pair of  n/2 digit numbers (where the digits are taken from the original number in any order) x and y together. If v is a vampire number then x and y are called its “fangs.”

  • 21 × 60 = 1260
  • 41 × 35 = 1435
  • 15 × 93 = 1395
  • 30 × 51 = 1530

 

Tombstone

Also known as the halmos symbol, the tombstone ▮ indicates the end of a proof.

 

Napier’s Bones

An abacus created by John Napier used to calculate the product and quotients of numbers.

 

Devil’s Staircase

The Devil’s Staircase, also known as the Cantor Function, is an example of a function that is continuous, but not absolutely continuous.

 

Witch of Agnesi

A curve studied by Maria Agnesi in 1748 in her book Instituzioni analitiche ad uo della gioventù italiana (the first surviving mathematical work written by a woman). The Cartesian equation is 


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