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04 May 2005

Amy wins Nobel Math Prize, & a Ranch Pizza!

Amy said...

The knuckles crack again...and for the last time.

After several sheets of hotel stationary, I think I have it! I checked and rechecked the math, even though I'll admit that I was confused for a while there.

Error number one was that when Mike was explaining where the pitcher's mound was, I mistakenly believed it was closer to 2nd base than to home. That was a duh-Amy moment. It is closer to home than to 2nd.

Having said that...the answer in as reduced-but-still-in-whole-numbers-form:

The square root of:

{47041-[21780(sqrt 2)]}

(hope that came out)

How I got it?

Side A (the one going from first to the exact center of the field) is (90 sqrt(2))/2.

Side B (the little bit between exact center of the field to the pitcher's mound) is (90 sqrt(2))/2) - (121/2)

Square A...square B...add 'em together and take the square root of that (with a little reducing). Since the square of A is a nice whole number (4050) and part of the square of B has a whole number (the square of B is (30841 - 21780 sqrt(2))/4 ).

I hesitate to ask whether I've got it this time :)

10:39 PM


Not like I'm surprised you have a Huge Brain.

But wow.

It's about time someone used hotel stationery for something useful. Did you hear about the mom who knew her daughter was a good girl cause she always brought a Bible home after each date?

Hmmm why doesn't the web easily support math typography? When I really need full math typography to get equations to look just like I want them to look, I have to use MS_Paint -- and although the results are just like I want them visually, the results are "cold" -- that is, they're just for screen and printer display, but the actual text can't be read by a computer. The expressions are jam-packed with information, but they might as well be images of toenails for all the computer can figure out.

How's this (it's just yours):

sqr[47041 - 21780 sqr(2)] / 2 feet

Anyway, you win ... uh, this time, it's a white square pizza! Florentina's calls it a ranch pizza and it's just delicious! Spinach and olives!

So like I am a Junior Geezer and most of you are Relative Youthoids. Let me know your Feelings about Ancient Greek-style Perfect Answers with only Whole Numbers and + - x / and sqrt.

That's a Pythagoras Thang, too. A decade or so after The Master had died, a member of the BrotherSisterhood (it was in southeastern Italy, the neighbors torched it twice 'cause of all the orgies and the gender equality and the usual Kult Rumors) called a meeting and proved that Not Every Quantity can be expressed only with Whole Numbers. (In other words, he discovered irrationals.)

The BrotherSisterhood announced the important result to the outside world. Then they threw the guy off a cliff into the sea for proving that The Master had been wrong.

Them's was the days ... when people killed each other over math. When The Big Py discovered the proof of the right-triangle thing, he sacrificed a herd of white oxen to Apollo.

But these days ... Tifani holds up her $125 graphing calculator and says: "The answer's 63.717008348466090387092475740644 !"

No it's not. No it's not. Your answer is The Perfect Exact Distance. Tifani's isn't.

Thank you also for shifting back to feet. Inches was going to make me have to re-compute the problem. Ouch ouch ouch.

Math typography should be Hot so you can Google this:


(You can't Google toenails.)


Blogger Mike said...

You can Google that. Problem is that Google is based off a ranking system. Breaking it down to the simplest terms, it's just a really big popularity contest. The more people that link to you, the higher your page rank. It's that simple. If people cared about 13591409, it would be more popular, but they don't. 63.717008348 is good enough for them. To be quite honest, no one is going to care beyond 63 feet 8 inches. It's close enough. It meets practical limitations. When you're talking about a pile of dirt being how far from a rectangular plate, anything beyond an inch is irrelevant.

I admire Amy for being able to do that calculation, but then, I already knew she's amazing.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Oh but you really should Google this:


... and it's surprisingly popular!


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