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Math Horizons - November 2004


The Ancient World's Magical Genius Thinks Big
Erza Brown 

For some historical figures, legend blends into fact almost from the beginning. So it was with antiquity's greatest scientific mind. They say that he discovered laws of physics while lying in a bathtub. set sailing vessels on fire with mirrors, and drew a ship out of the water with his bare hands. Maybe he did---maybe he didn't. In this story, we will learn something of his life and just exactly how big he thought. All you need to know is his name: Archimedes. 

A Conversation with Scott Kim
Gwen Spencer

Scott Kim is a master puzzle designer and a master of symmetry. When describing the major interests of each phase of his life (math and music, visual arts and computer science, puzzles and education,) Kim emphasizes the ties rather than the differences between them. 

Chaos Rules!
Robert L. Devaney

Learn the rules of the "Chaos Game" which produce the Sierpinski triangle and other fractals. In fact, just by looking at a fractal, you can read off the rules of the game that produces it.

Polyhedra from Pyramids
Hans Walser

As a gift to Math Horizons readers for the upcoming holidays, we present ways to construct attractive polyhedra with interesting mathematical features. 

Indeed, You Do Tattoo

The results of our call for mathematical tattoos. See Kira Hamman's infinity, Daniel Look's e^{pi i} + 1 =0, Allen Killpatrick's "Pi in the face", Anna Kates' Fibonacci spiral, Laurel Benjamin's two tattoos in a tutu, Stephen Carr's triquera knot, Michael Campola's cardioid, Emily King's Mobius strip and fractal belly button, Janna Eckhardt's Pi, Elisabeth Ring's Infinities, and Chuck Biehl's Escher tiling. 

Alumni Profiles: Appalachian State University
Sarah J. Greenwald & Holly P. Hirst

ASU profiles mathematics graduates Julie Cannon, Danny Eldreth, Jason Kincaid, Jeremy Lane, Jason Matthews, and Carmen Kincaid Wilson. 

A Continuity Quandary
Paul K. Stockmeyer

Have you always thought that the epsilon-delta definition of continuity was unnecessarily complicated? Follow Freddie Freshman and Sally Sophomore as they puzzle their way through a definition that took over 100 years to be developed and perfected. 

Remembering Murray Klamkin
Andy Liu

We are sad to report to passing of Murray S. Klamkin on August 6, 2004. Professor Klamkin was Editor of the Problems Section of this magazine from 1995 to 2001. and was co-Editor with Andy Liu through 2003.  A more detailed celebration of Murray Klamkin's life is available here.

REU Spotlight: Lafayette College
Gary Gordon

This one must be read with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Rebecca Jungman & Aaron Magid

Rebecca Jungman reviews The Geometer's Treasure Chest edited by Chris Pritchard. Aaron Magid reviews the video "Professor Devaney Explains the Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set" by Robert Devaney.

Taming Mathematical Monsters
Robert W. Vallin

Can a function be scary? Yes, very! This article investigates the properties of continuity and differentiability and tries to see just how ugly a function can be constructed.

Problem Section 
Andy Liu
Contest: Create an Inversion!

Inversions are words that can be read more than one way. When turned upside-down or reflected they can spell the same thing of maybe spell a related word. Our challenge to you is to create an inversion with a mathematical theme.