I found these mazes on Twitter and thought they might make a relaxing puzzle interlude. They come from photographs of the street in front of the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York. The idea is to traverse the mazes from the Start to the Goal making only right turns. It was difficult working out the pattern of the green maze, especially the upper right corner.
See the MoMath Mazes
Puzzles and Problems: MoMath
I came across the following problem from an Italian high school exam on the British Aperiodical website presented by Adam Atkinson:
“There have been various stories in the Italian press and discussion on a Physics teaching mailing list I’m accidentally on about a question in the maths exam for science high schools in Italy last week. The question asks students to confirm that a given formula is the shape of the surface needed for a comfortable ride on a bike with square wheels.
What do people think? Would this be a surprising question at A-level in the UK or in the final year of high school in the US or elsewhere?”
I had seen videos of riding a square-wheeled bicycle over a corrugated surface before, but I had never inquired about the nature of the surface. So I thought it would be a good time to see if I could prove the surface (cross-section) shown would do the job. See Square Wheels.
(Update 9/14/2023) Square Bridge That Rolls!
This is an incredible application of the rolling square wheels idea described on Matt Parker’s Stand-up Maths Youtube website. It also demonstrates the difference between engineering and pure math. The engineers had to solve some challenging problems to adapt the theoretical math to a practical application. And such solutions are always required under tight time constrictions. Engineering certainly is a noble profession.