Friday, July 21, 2006

The everyday usefulness of mathematics

Metafilter recently had a discussion of mathematics as applied to moving -- the neatest thread I've ever seen there. I am reminded of the story told by Ralph Boas about a mathematician who, watching movers try in vain to manoeuvre a large couch through a narrow doorway, sat down and worked out to his own satisfaction that it could not be done -- only to find, on returning to announce his accomplishment, that the job had been done already in his absence.

1 Comments:

Blogger Yasser said...

there is a tv series called Numb3rs that is about a mathematician who applies his knowledge in solving crimes and helps the FBI (I dont think he moves any couches though).....

1:12 pm  

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