## Plus Blog

December 21, 2015

Not just fun and games.

Playing games is fun — and it's obvious that being good at maths can help you in many difficult games, such as chess. But mathematicians like games for another reason too. They are interested in games because they can help us understand why we humans (and other animals) behave as we do. A whole area of mathematics, called game theory, has been developed to cast some light on our behaviour, especially the way we make decisions. To find out more, and to see how game theory can help understand a nuclear arms race, read this article.

This article was inspired by content on Wild Maths, which encourages students to explore maths beyond the classroom and is designed to nurture mathematical creativity. The site is aimed at 7 to 16 year-olds, but open to all. It provides games, investigations, stories and spaces to explore, where discoveries are to be made. Some have starting points, some a big question and others offer you a free space to investigate.

December 20, 2015

A famous problem of antiquity is to divide a given angle into three equal parts using just a compass and a straightedge. People tried very hard to solve this problem, until it was eventually proven that you can't. A compass and a straightedge just aren't enough to trisect any given angle.

Surprisingly, however, you can trisect an angle using origami. Just a few folds on a piece of paper and you're done. See this article on Wild Maths to find out how.

Wild Maths encourages students to explore maths beyond the classroom and is designed to nurture mathematical creativity. The site is aimed at 7 to 16 year-olds, but open to all. It provides games, investigations, stories and spaces to explore, where discoveries are to be made. Some have starting points, some a big question and others offer you a free space to investigate.

December 19, 2015

A Gömböc is a strange thing. It looks like an egg with sharp edges, and when you put it down it starts rolling around with an apparent will of its own. Until quite recently, no-one knew whether Gömböcs even existed. Even now, Gábor Domokos, one of their discoverers, reckons that in some sense they barely exists at all. So what are Gömböcs, what makes them special and what do they have to do with tortoises?

This article was inspired by content on Wild Maths, which encourages students to explore maths beyond the classroom and is designed to nurture mathematical creativity. The site is aimed at 7 to 16 year-olds, but open to all. It provides games, investigations, stories and spaces to explore, where discoveries are to be made. Some have starting points, some a big question and others offer you a free space to investigate.

December 18, 2015

Here's another game from Wild Maths. On a square grid, take turns marking the corners of the grid. The first person to claim all four corners of a square wins. Can you find a winning strategy?

You can try this with a friend using squared paper, or you can play against your friend or the computer with the interactivity on Wild Maths.

Wild Maths encourages students to explore maths beyond the classroom and is designed to nurture mathematical creativity. The site is aimed at 7 to 16 year-olds, but open to all. It provides games, investigations, stories and spaces to explore, where discoveries are to be made. Some have starting points, some a big question and others offer you a free space to investigate.

December 17, 2015

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) in 1921.

Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity has been described as an "act of pure creation". It also celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Find out about the theory and Einstein's struggle to formulate it in this Plus article. You can also read a shorter and easier article on Wild Maths.

Wild Maths encourages students to explore maths beyond the classroom and is designed to nurture mathematical creativity. The site is aimed at 7 to 16 year-olds, but open to all. It provides games, investigations, stories and spaces to explore, where discoveries are to be made. Some have starting points, some a big question and others offer you a free space to investigate.