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Factor Conga

Quite a few designery visualisations of the prime numbers have been put out on the web recently, to varying degrees of success. Most of the time they look pretty but don’t tell you very much; the most recent example I can think of is El Patrón de los Números Primos by Jason Davies.

A few weeks ago Brent Yorgey posted on his excellent blog The Math Less Traveled some really nice “factorization diagrams“, along with the code to produce them. Straight away, anyone with a text editor and a knack for fancy web coding set to work making the animated version that was so clearly required.

Stephen von Worley has made, I think, the nicest one. He calls it the Factor Conga. Sit back and enjoy the mysteries of the natural numbers as they dance their beguiling dance!

 

Dance Your PhD: Cutting Sequences on the Double Pentagon

As a mathematician (and not just any kind of mathematician – a PURE mathematician), I heard of the “Dance Your PhD” contest and immediately burst out laughing. As much as there is some nice pure mathematical dancing out there (see, for instance, this series of videos of different numerical sorting algorithms interpreted through dance), the idea that someone’s mathematical PhD research could be conveyed via bodily gyration was both fantastical and hilarious.

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