# Mathematics Carnival 51

By Murray Bourne, 24 Apr 2009

Welcome to the 51st Carnival of Mathematics.

After a not-so-short hiatus (6 weeks of deadly silence), I'm happy to present **Math Carnival #51**, aka "The Resurrection Carnival".

Random bits of trivia about 51 throughout history:

- The year 51 (AD, or CE) in the Julian calendar shared one thing in common with today's Carnival — it's start date was a Friday.
- In the Gregorian calendar, 1751 also started on a Friday.
- Euler published his theory of logarithms of complex numbers in 1751.
- There is no truth to the rumor that this carnival disappeared for some time because the coordinator, Alon Levy, got lost in Area 51.

On with the show.

## Human bodies

**John Cook** inspires us to consider some math behind elephants and mice in Metabolism and power laws. When not blogging, John works in a cancer clinic.

Blog home: The Endeavour.

## Calculus

In Aspects Of A Topic, **Vlorbik on Math Ed** argues the case for considering the formula for the length of a curve parametrically, rather than the normal asymmetric definition .

Blog home: Community College Calculus.

## Beginnings and Endings

Benford's Law — One is NOT the Loneliest Number has **Pat Ballew** pointing out that the first cardinal number is surprisingly common when describing quantities.

Blog home: Pat'sBlog.

Inspired by Benford's Law and Pat's article, I did a quick google to see how many search results appeared for various numbers, and came up with:

1: 21,580,000,000

2: 19,990,000,000

3: 15,990,000,000

4: 12,780,000,000

Indeed, the number of results decreases until 9, but there is an upset for 10:

9: 8,200,000,000

10: 12,840,000,000

And at the other end of the number line, **Barry Leiba** in Infinity plus one discusses large numbers of hotel guests.

Blog home: Staring At Empty Pages.

## Massively Collaborative Mathematics

**Jason Dyer** gives a "simple as possible" overview of Timothy Gowers' initiatives in A gentle introduction to the Polymath project. The post gives the background to the density Hales-Jewett problem. The line that caught my eye was from Gowers: "Is massively collaborative mathematics possible?".

Blog home: The Number Warrior.

## Ball Stacking

An interesting coincidence occurred with the following 2 posts. Both talk about stacking spheres in square pyramids, but in quite different contexts.

**TwoPi** offers us Pascal’s Pyramid (part 1 of 3), where he ponders the nature of a three dimensional analogue of the Pascal Triangle.

Blog home: 360.

**Mike Croucher** challenges the reader to find the volume of a square pyramid that completely surrounds a stack of cannon balls in Problem of the week #6 - Cannonballs.

Blog home: Walking Randomly.

## Amicable Numbers

In an unusual post, **Paul Dyson** shows us what would happen when The Numbers go Social Networking. The links point to nice summaries of the different number types.

Blog home: Math Nuggets.

## Free Math Downloads

My contribution to this Math Carnival is the post Free math software downloads, which may come in handy in these tight economic times.

## Future of the Math Carnival

I'm not sure where the Carnival goes from here. There seems to have been a slide in interest in recent months.

**My proposal:** Why not draw up a schedule so that we host once every (say) 4 months? Would that work, do you think?

That concludes this edition. Goodnight and good luck.

See the 12 Comments below.

24 Apr 2009 at 11:58 pm [Comment permalink]

Thanks for hosting. Nice editorial work bringing the scattered posts together.

One minor correction: I do work for a cancer center, but not on the clinical side. I'm in biostatistics.

25 Apr 2009 at 12:05 am [Comment permalink]

[...] long-awaited 51st Carnival of Mathematics is up at [...]

25 Apr 2009 at 12:18 am [Comment permalink]

I will be hosting the next Carnival on May 8th.

25 Apr 2009 at 1:32 am [Comment permalink]

[...] Comments Mathematics Carnival 51 - squareCircleZ on A gentle introduction to the Polymath projectChris on Hot Dogs and Buns (Least [...]

25 Apr 2009 at 5:22 am [Comment permalink]

Great carnival, great selection of links! Some I'd read already, and some new ones that I'll head out to enjoy now... I'm glad to see the CoM back.

25 Apr 2009 at 8:18 am [Comment permalink]

[...] Mathematics Carnival 51 [...]

25 Apr 2009 at 2:24 pm [Comment permalink]

[...] By ? The Carnival is Back…it was just taking a little vacation. This issue, the Resurrection Carnival, is being hosted by squareCircleZ and comes complete with a reference to Area [...]

25 Apr 2009 at 9:36 pm [Comment permalink]

[...] 49, 50, um, um, um, 51 2009 April 25 tags: Carnival of Mathematics by jd2718 After a brief break, the Carnival of Mathematics returns! [...]

25 Apr 2009 at 9:49 pm [Comment permalink]

This is my first visit to your site. Very nice! Keep up the good work!

27 Apr 2009 at 1:14 pm [Comment permalink]

im thankful that there are carnivlas such as this it makes one know that math is still loved by many others.

P.S i also love maths.

1 May 2009 at 6:20 pm [Comment permalink]

Update:After posting this Carnival, my RSS feeds were broken.After wasting some time disabling and enabling plugins and trying the usual "remove blank spaces before/after everything in the blog code", I finally tracked it down to the bit of javascript that the Blog Carnival people request we include in the post (it produces the rather old-fashioned blue carnival logo and links to the latest carnival - which was inaccurate anyway).

Suggestion: Don't include it in your carnival post!

1 May 2009 at 9:37 pm [Comment permalink]

[...] Mathematics Carnival 51 [...]