Sunday, November 29, 2015

Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker

Matt Parker is a comedian who does stand-up math. Or he is a mathematician doing stand-up comedy…I forget which lifestyle definition attracted me to his routines on YouTube: some are complicated enough to make you forget to laugh…unless, that is, you are already in on the math basics he is sharing. I learned about Parker’s new book from the mathematician Ben Babcock, whose website reviews recently-published science fiction, among other things. I was impressed with his assessment that “this is DIY math at its finest”-- impressed enough, after looking at it myself, to buy copies for my teenaged nephews.

Besides that, in the YouTube clip I saw, Parker is wearing maths paraphernalia like a “smooth geometric t-shirt” sold by DESIGNBYHÜMANS that is über-cool for mathheads.
I like to encourage thinking and innovation of any kind.

Parker doesn’t neglect important relevant applications of mathematics: how to cut a pizza equally with crust or without, how best to keep your headphone wires from tangling, how to tie your shoes (!) the maths way…in other words, ways to learn and test math principles using everyday objects…or your classroom full of students. It actually does sound fun, which I guess is the point. Babcock makes it clear that one really understands maths by doing math, which is perhaps even more to the point.

Below is a clip of one of Parker's routines.

You can buy this book here: Shop Indie Bookstores

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