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Coronavirus vs SARS Graphical Error


New of the fast spreading coronavirus is cause for deep concern, as well as action to contain those who have been affected. However, H3 noticed a rather erroneous graph which attempted to compare coronavirus with the SARS virus. What is wrong with this representation? (see the Post Support column for a possible answer):

Mathematics, with a Shot of Espresso


“I don’t need math ’cause I’m just going to work as a barista!” Don’t be too hasty in making a statement like this until you read this article: “An espresso is one of the most popular ways to drink coffee, but also the most complicated to make.The process depends on a delicate combination of factors […]

Please try this at home or school


Take a humble door knob and shine a strong flashlight to reveal a geometric shape. What is it?

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It’s a small world after all


Size matters to mathematicians, as well as scientists (another name for mathematicians). Last year, scientists (aka mathematicians) at York University recorded the radius of a proton at 0.833 femtometres, or just under one trillionth of a millimetre. It’s enough to make your head (like your protons) spin! Incidentally, and totally unrelated, H3 visited the Music […]

Easy Speed Multiplication


How Big is a Trillion?


Wow, I just read in the news today that the world has amassed a debt level of just over 250 trillion dollars! But, just how big is a trillion? A trillion is a million million, or 1,000,000 with 6 more zeros, or 1,000,000,000,000. This video puts that huge amount into perspective (click on the picture […]

How can someone born in 2020 be older than someone born in 2019?


Solution: If someone is born, say, at 1am in the morning of January 1 2020 in Sydney, then everyone born in the UK in the afternoon of December 31 2019 will be younger than them but born the previous year. In fact, the number of people born in 2020 who are older than someone born […]

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All I wanted for Christmas was a Tesseract!


Chocolates, clothes and a book to read are great Christmas presents, but what I really wanted was a 3D Tesseract! “In geometry, the tesseract is the4D analogue of the cube; the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of six square faces, the hypersurface […]

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The 12 Days of Christmas – How Many Gifts?


When I accept all the gifts in the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” how many gifts do I receive? And, can I work out the total using some neat Mathematics? First, a reminder about the song: “On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree […]

Pay Attention to Patterns and Templates


Lessons from the life of a great mathematician – John von Neumann

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Post Support

The graph on the left (Coronavirus) is for a time period of 30 days, while the one on the right (SARS) is for 8 months! Very poor graphical comparison and hardly relevant, unless it is attempting to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus?

10 x 9 x 8 + (7 + 6) x 5 x 4 x (3 + 2) x 1 = 2020

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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