Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"In Archimedes' Puzzle, a New Eureka Moment," by Gina Kolata. New York Times, 14 December 2003.
"Problem Solved." Random Samples, edited by Adrian Cho. Science, 5 December 2003, page 1655.

Both articles deal with a solution to a problem posed by Archimedes: How many ways are there to arrange a given set of 14 triangles and quadrilaterals into a square? Kolata writes that through the years the problem was mistranslated so that until recently the combinatorics involved in the problem was not appreciated.

--- Mike Breen