Saturday, December 6, 2008

They see me provin', contradictin', inductin' and making base cases, writing proofs...

Today I took the Putnam exam and it went a LOT better than I thought it would. For those of you not in the loop, the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition consists of 12 questions, 10 points each, over six hours. The median and mode score are both a big fat 0. So, getting any points means you're a gangsta mathematician. I totally rocked one question- it was about n-gons, or polygons with n sides, and the look on Dr. Fink's face when I told him I solved it with derivatives was priceless.

Math: it's pretty darn cool. Here's a little brain teaser for everyone, just to show you how awesome math is...

Here's a map of South America. Look at all the colors!

Let's say I wanted to save on color printing by reducing the number of colors used in this map. How many colors do I need to use so that no one country is colored next to another?

I'll give you guys an answer and a proof tomorrow. :)

Now for actual knitting content.

This is Lisa. Lisa lives with me in our big blue house (photos forthcoming).

These are Lisa's mittens. Paton's Classic Wool Merino on my trusty size 4 DPNs, super soft and lofty, knit up really fast and pretty and for $5, and even better... she loves them! She treats them like they're made of solid gold and it truly warms my heart.

1 comment:

Amo Scribere said...

Hmm... I've thought about that a lot, but seeing as how I'm not a math person, I've never actually been able to come up with anything. I know you could probably reduce the number of colors you're using by at least one or two, though.

Looking at this particular picture, I think you'd only need five colors. Brazil is a big country and you could alternate colors on the countries around them (Color A: French Guyana, Guyana, Columbia, Bolivia, Uruguay; Color B: Suriname, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia), use a fourth color for Chili and Paraguay and a fifth color for whichever other ones I've missed. Or there might be a way you could cut it down to four colors; I'm not sure...

~Elizabeth ^_^