# The Big Internet Math-Off 2024, Quarter-final 2

Here’s the second quarter-final match of The Big Internet Math-Off. Today, we’re pitting Angela Tabiri against Howie Hua.

Take a look at both pitches, vote for the bit of maths that made you do the loudest “Aha!”, and if you know any more cool facts about either of the topics presented here, please write a comment below!

## Angela Tabiri – A Quantum World

Anytime we add two numbers, say 2 and 3, the order in which we add the numbers does not matter. That is 2+3 = 3+2. However, when we consider subtraction and compute 3-2 and 2-3, the results are unequal. The order in which we subtract numbers matters. This property is called the non-commutative property. This video explains the non-commutative property in the English language. Words with the same alphabets but different meanings are called anagrams. For instance ‘ear’ and ‘are’ illustrate an anagram. Thus, the order in which we arrange alphabets matter since a different arrangement might have a different meaning.

Prime numbers play a critical role in facilitating a safe way to send and receive messages. The safety in the transfer of messages is guaranteed by the hardness of the problem of decomposing a large number into the prime numbers that multiply to it. Classical computers are unable to do such complex computations in a short time. However, with the latest advancements in quantum computers, such computations will be done with no complexity in the computation.  The year 2025 has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology. Anytime you think about the word quantum, remember it means the non commutative property. This video gave examples of quantum things we see in our world.

Can you think about a quantum property in everyday life? Comment with your examples.

Angela Tabiri is a mathematician and youth mentoring in STEM expert from Ghana. She is the founder of Femafricmaths, a non profit organisation that promotes female African mathematicians to highlight the diversity in careers after a degree in mathematics. You can follow Femafricmaths on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and X.

## Howie Hua – My favorite mental math trick and why it works

Howie shares his favorite mental math trick that will surely impress your friends:

Howie Hua teaches math to future elementary school teachers at Fresno State. He also likes to make math explainer videos and math memes. You can find all his socials on his linktree.

So, which bit of maths has tickled your fancy the most? Vote now!

Quarter-final 2: Angela Tabiri vs Howie Hua

Angela with a quantum world
Howie with his favourite mental math trick

Total Voters: 1,304

This poll is closed.

The poll closes at 08:00 BST tomorrow. Whoever wins the most votes will get the chance to tell us about more fun maths in the semi-final.

Come back tomorrow for the third quarter-final match, an all-Frans affair pitting Fran Watson against Fran Herr, or check out the announcement post for your follow-along wall chart!

## About the author

• #### Christian Lawson-Perfect

Mathematician, koala fan, Aperiodical editor. Usually found paddling in the North Sea, or fiddling with computers.

### 63 Responses to “The Big Internet Math-Off 2024, Quarter-final 2”

1. Bryan

I love Howie Hua’s mental math(s) videos and watch him regularly.

But I voted for Angela Tabiri for 2 reasons.

Quantum physics and prime numbers are something that I find very interesting.

Also, my wife grew up in West Africa. Her high school was in Côte d’Ivoire. There was a coup while she was there, and they fled to Ghana until it was safe to go back.

2. Michelle A. K. Adubofour

She is doing amazing with Mathematics – very practical and relatable to every day aspects of life

3. Damasus Derzu

Wishing Angela Tabiri wins this. Will go a long to encourage many young girls in Ghana.

4. Lawrence

Wishing Angela well. You explained the commutative/non commutative property well.