Epitaphs in the Graveyard of Mathematics

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What To Do When the Whole Class is Failing

I like to keep an eye on the Google search terms that bring people to this blog. Some warm the cockles of my heart. Some chill the cockles of my soul. Some bewilder the cockles of my mind, forcing me to Google things like “why do people search for such strange terms” and “what exactly are cockles.”

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And the occasional search term will tap into a matter of real depth, like this one: “my students are failing my math class.”

It’s bleak. It’s discouraging. And if you’ve taught math, it’s an experience you know. Continue reading

The Math with Bad Drawings Reader Survey!

EDIT 11/27/2017: The survey is now closed. Thanks so much to the nearly 1,000 people who took it during the week. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts!

And in case you were wondering, here’s how that first question (“Thanks for taking this survey!”) turned out:

survey result

Original Post:

Today, I have a request for you: I’d like some waffles, please.

But in lieu of a crenelated syrup castle, I would gratefully accept your taking 3 minutes to fill out this quick reader survey.

I am super grateful for those who take the time to look at this blog and verify that its drawings are, indeed, bad. I would love to know more about why folks come here, what they seek, and if they’d like T-shirts.

All survey participants will be entered into a drawing for the prize of my affections, in which 100% of entrants shall win.

Link here, or you can find it embedded below:

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A World Without the Number 6

a weekly roundup of links, cartoons, and
profound hypotheticals that only a 5-year-old would imagine

Great piece by Adam Kucharski on the discovery of the monstrous nowhere-differentiable function, and its ripples across history:

Calculus had always been the language of the planets and stars, but how could nature be a reliable inspiration if there were mathematical functions that contradicted the central ideas of the subject?

Somehow, linking to Clickhole makes me feel very square and old-fashioned, like taking out a newspaper ad to endorse a Tweet, but I want to draw your attention to 7 Shapes That Will Be Completely Obsolete After I Introduce My Latest Shape, the Triquandle:

The Trapezoid. A quadrilateral with only one pair of parallel sides? Ha! Pathetic. Try a triquanderlateral with so many pairs of parallel sides that men have died just trying to count them all. How many men died creating the trapezoid? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

2017.10.23 objective tests

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