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A Mathematician’s Guide to Wordle

We invited mathematician and wordplay fan Ali Lloyd to share his thoughts on hit internet word game phenomenon Wordle. If you’re not familiar with the game, we recommend you go and have a play first.

Photo of a mastermind board, showing coloured pegs in rows.
CC BY-SA ZeroOne

When I first saw Wordle I said what I saw many other people subsequently say: “Oh, so it’s a bit like Mastermind but with words? That’s a neat idea”. 

Donald Knuth’s 2017 Christmas lecture: “A Conjecture That Had To Be True”

Every year, Donald Knuth gives a Christmas lecture at Stanford.

This year, he wanted to talk about a conjecture he’s recently investigated.

It’s just over an hour long. Sit down with a warm drink and enjoy some interesting recreational maths from the master.

Let’s ture to the max!

A new study from Prof. Lawks A. Mercy and Dr. O. Goode-Griefe of the Institute of Blogging Studies indicates that we have published absolutely loads of posts about Alan Turing this year, the Alan Turing Year. We’ve posted about Alan Turing events, Alan Turing facts, Alan Turing competitions and O mercy me have we posted about Alan Turing petitions.

So this is the last Turing post of 2012. I’ve been saving this thing up so it can be the last Turing post this year and on Wednesday morning we can put the whole mad shebang behind us.

What I’d like to bring your attention to is nothing so demanding of your attention as a petition or a campaign, but a little suggestion for a simple way to commemorate Alan Turing: Donald A. Knuth has posted on his website that it would be a nice idea to define a meaning for the verb ‘to ture‘.

Using Computer Modern on the web

Computer Modern is the family of typefaces developed by Donald Knuth for TeX. It’s so good-looking that some scientists do research just so they can write it up in Computer Modern.

I love TeX and everybody knows it, so I was pretty delighted to hear that the cm-unicode project compiles versions of the Computer Modern fonts in a few formats, including TTF. Having the fonts in TTF format means you can use them in non-TeX environments, in particular on the web.

I’ve run the cm-unicode fonts through codeandmore’s @font-face kit generator to get all the weird formats that the various browsers insist on. The result is a set of packages containing everything you need to use the Computer Modern typefaces on the web.

I’ve put up a page containing examples of each face in use and links to the packages. Enjoy!