Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Nerd Alert: "Numberplay"

I just noticed that Wordplay, "The Crossword Blog of the New York Times," has a weekly feature called Numberplay, which some of you might be interested in.

There's, like, actual math involved. Take for example the latest post, "The Gambling Machine Puzzle."

This week’s puzzle was suggested by mathematician Nelson Blachman, [...]


Dr. Blachman told me he liked this week’s puzzle because “its solution required some ingenuity but only simple probability theory to start with. Evaluating the expected payoff from the optimum (or any other) strategy, however, needed a tiny bit of integral calculus.”

"Only simple" probability theory!?!!? "A tiny bit of" integral calculus?!!!

The very idea that the New York Times is for once not liberally-artsishly going all "I CAN'T EVEN BALANCE MY CHECKBOOK LOL" is something to savor and salute.

Something else to savor and salute, from Nelson Blachman's website: the bookend entries on his list of publications:

``The System of Microstresses in Cold-Worked Metal,'' Physical Review 70 (9, 10), 698-704 (November 1 and 15, 1946) (baccalaureate dissertation).

``Three Tangent Circles' Incircle,'' The Mathematical Scientist 37.2, 151-153 (December 2012).

Emph. added.

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