mathematics

Can you solve Rubik’s Cube?

Can you solve Rubik’s Cube?

Ern? Rubik© Julio Cortez On June 2, 1980, the world’s most famous puzzle started to spread all over the world, infecting the population with addiction and curiosity about its solving. The Rubik’s Cube started to take over Germany in 1980, but its birth lays back in Hungary in the mid 1970’s. The magic cube is named after its creator Ern? Rubik, who is a Hungarian architect and inventor. Between 1971…
Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

HP 35s Calculator (1972) I guess almost nobody except a few mathematicians and computer scientists have ever heard of the Australian computer scientist Charles Leonard Hamblin, who passed away on May 14, 1985. And also most of my fellow computer scientists might not have heard of him. But, one of his major contributions to computer science was the introduction of the so-called Reverse Polish Notation. Does that ring a bell Back…
Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984)from Los Alamos Technical ReportLA-UR-00-2532; 16 October 2000 When in 1952 the world’s first thermonuclear fusion bomb was ignited, mathematicians and physicists thought it would be rather unlikely that testing the device might result in burning all the nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere. But, the possibility could not be excluded completely. Nevertheless, they have tested the bomb and fortunately for us not the like did happen. One of…
Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) On April 28, 1906, Kurt Gödel was born. He was one of the most significant logicians of all time. Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when many, such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead and David Hilbert, were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics. Gödel is best known for his two…
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