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Ohioans measure a really big π


Ohio State University mathematician Niles Johnson got in touch on Friday to tell us that our π Approximation Challenge last year had inspired him to hatch an audacious plan to measure a really big π.

The word ‘geometry’ is derived from the Greek for ‘measurement of land’, and Dr. Johnson took that quite literally: he wanted to measure the Great Circle Earthworks in Heath, Ohio; a part of the Newark Earthworks (not their original name) built over 2,000 years ago.




Desmos is the web-based interactive geometry program that isn’t GeoGebra. It’s very popular with teachers.

Someone’s made a nifty tool to turn a Desmos construction into an animated gif. It’s called – you guessed it – GIFsmos. They’ve got a blog containing a few nice animations, but it doesn’t seem to have been updated since I discovered it in March. Anyway, the tool still exists, so go and see what you can create!

Three Sticks

Three Sticks box

The nice chaps at Kitki, an educational board game company based in India, have come up with a cool idea for a mathematical board game. They’re funding it through IndieGoGo (which if you haven’t heard of it is a bit like Kickstarter), and they’re looking for your help.

Have fun playing with curvature

Recently Tim Hutton and Adam Goucher have been playing around with hyperbolic tesselations. That has produced a {4,3,5} honeycomb grid for the reaction-diffusion simulator Ready, which Adam talked about on his blog a couple of days ago. Tim has also made a much simpler toy to play with in your browser: a visualisation of mirror tilings (the Wythoff construction) in spaces with different curvatures.

Hyperplay lets you select the kind of regular polygon you want to tile, and then your mouse controls the curvature of the space it sits in. Certain curvatures produce exact tilings of the space – for example, triangles tile a space with zero curvature – and you get projections of polyhedra for certain positive curvatures.