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Why Math? - September 25, 2009
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Spiked Math Comic - Why Math?



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16 Comments

Sudoku: "Where's Waldo" for logic-challenged adults.

Wow. Waldo has never been more insulted.

Where's the joke?

I get asked this a lot... whether it's by friends or family: "Isn't math already solved?".

It's a lot easier saying I play Sudoku all day, instead of explaining that math research is actually quite alive ^_^ (I'm a pure mathematician, and the follow up questions are usually: "What kind of research do you do?, Can you explain it to me?, etc"... Sudoku is just so much easier to say lol :D

OMG! Spiked Math you do Sudoku!

nah, I can't stand Sudoku.. it's too dry for me :-|
but lots of people I know do it.

Try Kakuro.

Actually, I have to get a book of Will Shortz's Ken-Ken puzzles. I haven't tried those yet. My wife takes them all.

I looked up Kakuro, and might try it someday when i'm bored. I also came across this "chain suduko" type puzzle called http://strimko.com. It's a lot like suduko in the sense they both relate to latin squares.

Sudoku actually has little if anything to do with math. Want proof? Well, how would the game be changed if you used letters or shapes instead of numbers? Not at all, right?

The Sudoku puzzles are a special case of Latin squares which are highly mathematical:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_square
Regardless if you replace the numbers with symbols, the Latin squares form multiplication tables of quasigroups.

Filling in a Sudoku puzzle though, doesn't seem all that mathematical though.

Maths has a lot in common with Sudoku. Want proof? Well, how would it be changed if you used letters or shapes instead of numbers? Not at all, right?

hahaha... I wanted to say the same thing, but I'm glad I looked to see if someone beat me to it.

Sudoku uses logic rather than math as such. But it's closer than most other things they print in daily papers...

haha, my bf's a pure mathematician (comp sci for me) ... people are always curious about what he does, but they almost immediately regret asking :)

My brother's girlfriend is studying ceramics--as in the physics of ceramics and how to make more useful ceramic substances. But when they ask her what kind of ceramics she makes (thinking art), they are soon sorry...

Slitherlink has to be the puzzle of choice for mathematicians. It's the only thing that gives me the same 'aha' feeling as an elegant proof. http://www.nikoli.co.jp/en/puzzles/slitherlink/

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