A while ago I collected a few of the mathsy games I play on my phone to while away my commute. I’ve found a few new ones since then, so I thought I’d do a new post to tell you about them.
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Mathematician and author Professor Ian Stewart, helped by Touch Press and his publisher Profile Books, has recently released a new app for iOS (suitable for use on an iPad) called Incredible Numbers. We saw this tweet:
I highly recommend Incredible Numbers, iPad app by Ian Stewart. New gold standard for interactive maths. For all. https://t.co/bI9YfUpViP
— Alex Bellos (@alexbellos) March 31, 2014
and how could we resist? We borrowed a nearby iPad, downloaded the app and had a play.
You may be aware of GeoGebra. In a previous post, our very own CP described it as “a surprisingly capable piece of free dynamic maths software, used widely by teachers and geometry aficionados”. I am preparing lecture notes for the new academic year and have been making diagrams in GeoGebra (on Ubuntu, since you asked), both to print in my notes and animate in my lectures. I can insert $\LaTeX$ labels and export as code for PGF or PSTricks. Here’s one:
Now, following a successful Kickstarter (which we covered in a previous post), GeoGebra have released tablet versions of the software. So GeoGebra is now available on Windows, OS X and various flavours of Linux (.deb, .rpm, other), as a Chrome App, a Chrome Web Application and in a ‘Java Webstart‘ version (though be aware that the Java Webstart is being phased out), and now for Windows 8 or RT, Android and iPad tablets. Here is a screenshot of the iPad app:
Download and more information at the GeoGebra website.
I asked in the previous post for suggestions of iPad apps that I could use to help with my job as a university lecturer in mathematics. I asked specifically about annotating PDF files I had made using LaTeX and recording such activity. More generally, I asked what other apps might be useful to my job and for other uses I should be thinking about. People made suggestions via comments on that post, Twitter and Google+. Thanks to all who responded. Here is a summary of the recommendations I received.
New game, everyone! Work have bought me an iPad. I have so far discovered this is basically a touch screen interface through which I can write email, read Twitter and play pinball, but I’ve heard a rumour that it can do even more than that. I’d like you to suggest what else I might do with it.
GeoGebra is a surprisingly capable piece of free dynamic maths software, used widely by teachers and geometry aficionados. We haven’t discussed it here before, but people have created some really nice interactive tools with it, so we might do a round-up in the near future.
Earlier in the year, the developers released an HTML5 version of GeoGebra, dropping the dependency on Java, which means it works on new-fangled devices such as the iPad through the web browser. Now, following queries about a GeoGebra iPad App from “many people”, a Kickstarter project is trying to raise funds to develop a native iPad App, to be available for free from the Apple App Store.
They don’t say how the iPad app will be different to the HTML5 one, but I assume it’ll make use of the native controls and widgets to present a smoother interface. They could probably do with providing a bit more information to encourage interested parties to cough up the $10,000 they’re asking for. Right now they’re at just over $2,500.
Fellow Androidists can be reassured: the FAQ says that they are planning on getting round to “other platforms” once the iPad version is done.
Kickstarter: GeoGebra for the iPad.
Much is being made on Twitter of the IBM Minds of Modern Mathematics App. Okay if you have an iPad, I suppose. According to Wired, this:
presents an interactive timeline of the history of mathematics and its impact on society from 1000 to 1960… The app is based on an original, 50-foot-long “Men of Modern Mathematics” installation created in 1964 by Charles and Ray Eames. Minds of Modern Mathematics users can view a digitized version of the original infographic as well as browse through an interactive timeline with more than 500 biographies, math milestones and images of relevant artifacts.
Wikipedia explains that Men of Modern Mathematics was connected with the exhibit Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Beyond, originally in the new science wing of the California Museum of Science and Industry. According to the Eames Office, “committed to communicating, preserving, and extending the legacy and work of Charles and Ray Eames” who designed the exhibit, Mathematica was “intended to enlighten the amateur without embarrassing the specialist”.
Wikipedia has this to say of the Men of Modern Mathematics poster:
In 1966, five years after the opening of the Mathematica Exhibit, IBM published a 2-by-12-foot (0.61 × 3.7 m) timeline poster—titled “Men of Modern Mathematics”—based on the items displayed on the exhibit’s History Wall, and distributed free copies to academics. The timeline covers the period from 1000 AD to approximately 1950 AD, and the poster has biographical and historical items along with numerous pictures showing progress in various areas of science, including architecture.
You can view still images of the poster at the Computer History Museum website.
iPad App: Minds of Modern Mathematics.