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Daniel Tammet sees Maths everywhere! Book Review


This review is just in from Science News: “As an autistic savant, writer Daniel Tammet approaches numbers in a brilliantly oblique way. He sees math everywhere, from the geometrical grids of city streets to the predictable patterns of his mother’s daily chores. Thinking in Numbers is his effort to draw the rest of us into seeing that beauty.

thinkinnumbersOne example of a puzzle he finds pretty: The universe is finite, yet the numbers used to describe it can go on infinitely. Archimedes tackled this paradox in the third century B.C. when he calculated how many sand grains it would take to fill all of space. Next, he envisioned multiplying 10,000 objects — the highest number the ancient Greeks thought worth counting — by 10,000 again and again. “I thought it is not inappropriate for you, too, to contemplate these things,” Archimedes told his stunned audience…

In his most lyrical essay, Tammet describes memorizing 22,514 decimal places of pi and reciting them to a university audience for five hours and nine minutes. The moment, like the book, is a transcendent glimpse at a numerate world.”

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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