Comments on: Making math fun!
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post Making math fun!Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:16:27 -0800Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:16:27 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: Making math fun!
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun
Calling all math lovers! Great mathematics toys/gifts for adults? <br /><br /> My good friend is getting married soon, and I'd love to give him a great math related gift. Traditional gift registries are all well and good but I'd love to get them something surprising and a little bit fun.<br>
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She teaches math to high schoolers and he does calculus problems to relax. Is there any thinkgeek type equivalent for those who are nerdy in the math flavor? Interesting books might be good, but something that could be fun for display or even to engage non-math fiends would be good too. Puzzles, games, art, etc. <br>
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The only idea I have so far is a framed print of this xkcd comic http://xkcd.com/55/. Help!post:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:08:36 -0800gilsonalmathematicsmathgiftstoyspuzzlespresentsBy: phrontist
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362841
How about a <a href="http://www.kleinbottle.com/">non orientable surface</a>?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362841Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:16:27 -0800phrontistBy: Cool Papa Bell
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362853
<a href="http://www.neatorama.com/2009/08/22/pi-plate/">Pi plate</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362853Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:24:56 -0800Cool Papa BellBy: auto-correct
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362854
I don't know if this is practical at all, but I'm a math nerd and would LOVE to have my own blackboard for my house. There's something about doing problems with chalk that makes it feel way cooler. (Whiteboards are ok, but lack the cachet).comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362854Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:25:45 -0800auto-correctBy: ZeroDivides
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362860
A copy of <a href="http://www.cafepress.com/cp/prod.aspx?p=kleinfour.22765484">Musical Fruitcake</a>, an album of a Capella songs from the Klein Four Group -- a band comprised of Mathematics grad students from Northwestern. They're most famous for <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTby_e4-Rhg">Finite Simple Group of Order Two</a>, a mathematical love song.<br>
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I understand this song is sometimes played at nerdy weddings!<br>
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Also, to go with the surface above, <a href="http://www.kleinbottle.com/klein_bottle_hats.htm">Klein Bottle hats and scarves.</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362860Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:27:20 -0800ZeroDividesBy: escabeche
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362863
Not particularly wacky, but every math person I know loves the <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8350.html">Princeton Companion to Mathematics</a>. (Disclosure -- I wrote a very small piece of it.)comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362863Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:31:16 -0800escabecheBy: aniola
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362867
The math grad students I used to hang out with were all really good at <a href="http://www.setgame.com/set/index.html">Set</a>. It's a card game that was invented by a geneticist, if I recollect correctly.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362867Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:37:26 -0800aniolaBy: LobsterMitten
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362873
<a href="http://www.signals.com/signals/Item_Irrational-Numbers-Wall-Clock_HH6134_ps_dpr.html">Irrational Numbers Wall Clock</a> - my house mathematician got this for Christmas and it hangs on his office wall, delighting the right kind of student. The numbers around the dial are famous irrational numbers (like pi) marked at the appropriate spot (for example pi is marked partway between 3 and 4).<br>
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<a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/ac3f/">pop quiz math clock</a> is a similar idea but with the normal time intervals marked with expressions that are equal to the number they mark. The math here is much simpler.<br>
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There's the ever-popular <a href="Housewares_1EJ">Pi baking dish</a>, which he might already have.<br>
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<a href="http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatalog/Non_Transitive_Dice_-_Set_1.html">Non-transitive dice</a> are fun and neat; maybe not a wedding present type of thing, but still cool. These are a set of dice with different numbers than the normal dice have, which gives them interesting properties.<br>
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<a href="http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatalog/Apollonius_Cone.html">Apollonius cone</a> - a lovely art object that demonstrates geometric properties, though expensive. (This site, Grand Illusions, has some great and hard-to-find things, worth browsing around there a bit.)comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362873Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:40:56 -0800LobsterMittenBy: LobsterMitten
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362875
Do you know if they play board games? And if so, which ones? If they do, I might be able to help with rec's.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362875Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:41:57 -0800LobsterMittenBy: Blazecock Pileon
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362884
A bit spendy, perhaps, but you might take a look through <a href="http://www.bathsheba.com/sculpt/minimetal.html">Bathsheba Sculpture</a> for gift ideas.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362884Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:53:04 -0800Blazecock PileonBy: phrontist
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362891
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28board_game%29">Go</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362891Tue, 07 Sep 2010 22:55:47 -0800phrontistBy: scose
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362915
A compass, for geometric constructions. A copy of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/3540636986/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/">Proofs from the Book</a>, which I have not read but is highly regarded. (It assumes roughly an undergraduate math education.) <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003DMUWV4/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/">Small neodymium magnetic spheres</a> aren't really mathematical, but mathy people love them.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362915Tue, 07 Sep 2010 23:37:03 -0800scoseBy: An algorithmic dog
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362927
As a Math guy I would really really like the Klein bottles or the Princeton Companion to Mathematics. Also would go for a black board (or a white board) but only if it was full size, and don't buy something that big (and expensive) without making sure they have a suitable place to hang it. If also a physics geek Road to Reality would be good.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362927Wed, 08 Sep 2010 00:18:25 -0800An algorithmic dogBy: lizabeth
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362946
A Rubik's cubecomment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362946Wed, 08 Sep 2010 00:56:21 -0800lizabethBy: gilsonal
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2362956
I'm trying to think of what board games they like. I know I've played Blockus with them. But board games are definitely an option worth consideringcomment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2362956Wed, 08 Sep 2010 01:48:35 -0800gilsonalBy: moonmilk
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363133
How about a <a href="http://www.gomboc-shop.com/">Gomboc</a>?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363133Wed, 08 Sep 2010 06:56:09 -0800moonmilkBy: insectosaurus
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363155
As a math person, a I actually prefer this xkcd comic: xkcd.com/435comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363155Wed, 08 Sep 2010 07:22:22 -0800insectosaurusBy: madcaptenor
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363244
A <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/59e0/">binary clock</a>. This has the advantage that if you use it as your only clock, visitors don't know what time it is. (I speak from experience.)comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363244Wed, 08 Sep 2010 08:16:11 -0800madcaptenorBy: wittgenstein
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363268
ThinkGeek sells <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/be12/">Slide Rules</a>, too.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363268Wed, 08 Sep 2010 08:30:03 -0800wittgensteinBy: Ery
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363349
Check out the <a href="http://www.gamepuzzles.com/">GamePuzzles</a> by Kadon Enterprises. Penrose Tiles! Polyominoes!<br>
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This is a self-link, but topical: <a href="http://www.pburch.net/toys/B1915068958/index.html">Cool Math: toys for mathematically-minded adults and kids</a>. It includes my reviews of my favorite fun math stuff from Kadon.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363349Wed, 08 Sep 2010 09:06:41 -0800EryBy: madcaptenor
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363430
Someone should start a math store. Seriously, if I had more money I'd buy stuff there.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363430Wed, 08 Sep 2010 09:56:04 -0800madcaptenorBy: chairface
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363504
<a href="http://www.getbuckyballs.com/">Buckyballs</a>.<br>
<a href="http://www.zometool.com/">Zome</a>.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363504Wed, 08 Sep 2010 10:31:58 -0800chairfaceBy: ifjuly
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2363721
<a href="http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=18145&utm_medium=shopping+sites&utm_source=froogle&utm_campaign=18145">Geek Clock</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2363721Wed, 08 Sep 2010 12:32:27 -0800ifjulyBy: sninctown
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2364036
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000IV34/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/">Set cards</a>. The true math-lovers/experts I've known have enjoyed (and been extremely good at) this game.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2364036Wed, 08 Sep 2010 15:26:24 -0800sninctownBy: violetish
http://ask.metafilter.com/164447/Making-math-fun#2364085
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587170663/metafilter-20/ref=nosim/">The Dot and the Line</a>, by Norton Juster (author of The Phantom Tollbooth). It's very small, but it's also very sweet, makes tons of math-y puns, and would be a great add-on to a more substantial present.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2010:site.164447-2364085Wed, 08 Sep 2010 16:08:20 -0800violetish