C Goodman-Strauss Kyle Kellams

The Math Factor

Can one infinity be larger than another? Are there half as many even numbers as counting numbers? This series of short episodes of The Math Factor airs on KUAF 91.3 FM.
 The Math Factor


A brief, weekly math conversation and puzzle, airing on KUAF 91.3 FM, Fayetteville Arkansas. Send your answers, comments, questions, puzzles, or cash, to mathfactor@uark.edu!


HR. CardColm

Apr 14, 2012 00:14:20


Colm Mulcahy joins us to share some of his card magic!

HQ. Newton v Leibnitz

Mar 27, 2012 00:10:25


A break from puzzling to discuss the history of the great Newton-Liebnitz dispute over the invention of Calculus, with the playwright Todd Taylor.

HP. Happy Root 10 Day

Mar 17, 2012 00:09:37


For procrastinators...

HO. Crazies On The Plane

Mar 9, 2012 00:06:32


Madness in the aisles...

HN. Barbette

Feb 28, 2012 00:10:09


The great aerialist Barbette makes an wholly gratuitous appearance on the Math Factor, and a few quick puzzles.

HM. Five Cards

Feb 18, 2012 00:11:46


Big math news, answers and a quick and easy puzzle.

HL. Bear Hunt

Feb 11, 2012 00:09:40


Kyle stumps Chaim, and we revisit a neat twist on an old chestnut

HK. Spiders and Fly

Feb 3, 2012 00:09:58


Another pursuit puzzle from the Math Factor

HJ. Strange Suitor

Jan 28, 2012 00:07:11


An odd marriage proposal...

Hi! Getting Closer

Jan 17, 2012 00:06:58


How close can we get to exactly one glass of water?

HH. Corpuscle Candy

Jan 12, 2012 00:11:46


Hot piles of M&M's!

HG. Two Love

Jan 2, 2012 00:08:17


Numbers, numbers numbers... hadn't noticed there are so many of them.

HF. True Love

Dec 24, 2011 00:01:29


In which Chaim ponders how much his true love loves him truly.

HE. On Cake and Coffee

Dec 13, 2011 00:12:55


In which we discuss the mystery of cooling coffee.

HD. The Math Factor Returns

Dec 5, 2011 00:04:34


And we're back in the studio together again! Lots of great stuff to come!

HC. Strongly Connected Components

Jul 15, 2011 00:33:20


Check out the Strongly Connected Components podcast at acmescience.com

HB. Puzzlers Pegg and Stephens

Apr 10, 2011 00:39:10


Back with an interview with two fantastic puzzlers, Ed Pegg (mathpuzzle.com) and James Stephens (puzzlebeast.com) Check out mathfactor.uark.edu for lots of links to the puzzles and people they talk about.

HA! Conway on Gardner

Jun 29, 2010 00:57:23


John H. Conway on his friendship with Martin Gardner.

The Math Factor Takes a Bow

May 10, 2010 00:01:32


We are taking the summer off (at a minimum) but check back in a while for new segments. And don't forget to drop us a line!

GY. Conversation with Greg Chaitin

Apr 6, 2010 01:02:19


A conversation with Greg Chaitin, creator of Chaitin's Omega and author, most recently, of MetaMath!! These ideas are well worth a close listen.

GW. Wolfram's Principle of Computational Equivalence

Mar 31, 2010 00:07:39


Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica and author of A New Kind of Science describes a fundamental principle, showing how irreducible complexity arises even in simple systems.

G4G9 Report From the Gathering

Mar 29, 2010 00:21:40


Quick interviews at the Gathering, with Stephen Wolfram, Will Shortz, Dale Seymore, John Conway and many others!

GV. Three Quick G4G9 Puzzles From Ed Pegg

Mar 26, 2010 00:01:32


We catch up with Ed Pegg, of mathpuzzle.com who gives us three great puzzles! Now Tweeting from G4G9!

GW. Math Factor Hits The Road

Mar 23, 2010 00:06:55


The Math Factor hits the road, with live updates from the Gathering For Gardner! And the premier of James Greeson's Canon and Chorale on Pi.

GV. Mix Up At The Five And Dime

Mar 14, 2010 00:05:50


A vintage segment from July 11, 2004.

GU. Number Freak

Mar 8, 2010 00:11:51


Derrick Niederman tells us what is so un-22 about Catch 22, and other marvels from his new book, Number Freak.

GT. The Largest Escher Exhibit Ever

Feb 28, 2010 00:19:35


The largest Escher exhibit ever is on display in Boca Raton. A must see event!

GS. I Met A Man

Feb 21, 2010 00:04:48


In which we discuss the yillion and a strange encounter with an aged man.

GR. VIth Anniversary of the Math Factor!

Feb 12, 2010 00:10:07


That's right, we return with our sixth anniversary "special". Can a clip show be far behind?

GQ. Durned Ants

Jan 1, 2010 00:06:46


Keep those durned outs offa me!

GP. Switcheroo!

Dec 27, 2009 00:07:57


A plan for the shop, and still more tormented prisoners. What is the deal with those poor souls anyway?

GO. Coin Fraud!

Dec 18, 2009 00:08:41


Yay! Another Fraud Detection Prevention tip from your friends and accomplices at the Math Factor, as well as further discourse on Benford's Law.

GN. Benford's Law

Dec 4, 2009 00:06:57


If you're gonna commit accounting fraud, some things to watch out for! Benford's law is an amazing property of many kinds of lists of data.

GM. What's the Big Deal Anyway?

Nov 26, 2009 00:07:18


Wherein Chaim lets off a little steam about an urgent problem...

GL. Math 2033

Nov 20, 2009 00:03:37


Chaim's new Math 2033 is going like gangbusters! Check out the class wiki at math2033.uark.edu

GK. Mythematics

Nov 13, 2009 00:08:01


Michael Huber solves the 12 Labors of Hercules!

GJ. Mathletics

Nov 4, 2009 00:11:45


Wayne Winston discusses his sports-math book, Mathletics!

GI. Mrs. Perkins' Electric Quilt

Oct 21, 2009 00:12:16


Paul Nahin discusses his fabulous new book "Mrs Perkins Electric Quilt", mosquitos, falling through the Earth, whether mathematics is "real" and much more!

GH. The Math Book

Oct 10, 2009 00:14:39


Clifford Pickover discusses his beautiful new Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics.


Oct 2, 2009 00:05:54


Stephen Morris rounds out his puzzles with a discussion of OLD IDAHO USUAL HERE.

GF. More Clock Crazies

Sep 25, 2009 00:06:38


Jetting around with Stephen Morris, who leaves us at a rare loss for words!

GE. Clock Confusion

Sep 18, 2009 00:10:33


Stephen Morris, mathfactor correspondent at large, discusses the Kate Bush conjecture and how to get a dead clock to tell the right time many times throughout the day!

GD. The Math Circus Is Coming!

Sep 9, 2009 00:07:01


Back after a sleepy summer, the Math Circus Opens 9/9/9!

GC. Another Buncha Prisoners

Jul 29, 2009 00:08:37


Man, what is it about puzzlers and prisoners? Jeff Yoak lines em up and the stakes are high!

GB. Hat Strategy

Jul 21, 2009 00:03:28


#mathfactor now on twitter; Jeff Yoak poses a hat puzzle stumper!

GA. Stacking the Chips

Jul 15, 2009 00:11:02


Jeff Yoak discusses math in his career as a poker pro.

FZ. Will a Real Gold Coin Please Stand Up?

Jul 7, 2009 00:02:40


Jeff Yoak, one of the mathfactor website authors, shares a puzzle with an intriguing twist!

FY. Weights in a Row

Jul 3, 2009 00:02:34


Every number in a mysterious sequence is the weighted average of its neighbors...

FW. Walk Around the Clock

Jun 20, 2009 00:01:35


A quick puzzle sent in by a listener! Very elegant solution, using a fair coin...

FV. Singmastery!

Jun 13, 2009 00:11:34


David Singmaster, Puzzler Extraordinaire, early master of the Rubik's Cube, poser of the Singmaster Conjecture, etc, etc, engages in some wordplay.

FU. Arp and Bif Shake Hands

May 25, 2009 00:09:46


We express regret, answer a puzzle, shake hands and welcome back astronauts Arp and Bif.

FT. Sum and Double & Double and Sum

May 19, 2009 00:08:28


A puzzle on sums of digits, and an interview with Rob Fathauer, of Tesselations Inc.

FS. The Portuguese Waiter Trick

May 7, 2009 00:09:11


Dr Schaffer returns to show us more of his math-dance moves!

FR. Who Wants To Be A Mathematician?

Apr 30, 2009 00:11:07


Kyle and Chaim return to the studio with an interview with Michael Breen, of the hit gameshow, "Who Wants To Be A Mathematician?" Lots of puzzles!

FQ. Cards In The Dark

Apr 6, 2009 00:04:22


Fumbling with cards in the dark...

FP. Carriage Return

Apr 3, 2009 00:04:23


A simple typesetting puzzle from Stephen Barr's Intriguing Puzzles in Math and Logic.

FO. Eyebrow Hairs

Apr 2, 2009 00:03:40


Why do these hair seem to grow in fits and starts?

FN. Three Square Napkins

Mar 30, 2009 00:04:28


Another Sam Loyd puzzle: what is the largest square table that can be covered by three 1 foot square napkins?

FM. Bamboopalooza One

Mar 27, 2009 00:05:43


Our very first Bamboopalooza, in Wilson Park April 2004!

FL. Algebra on the Radio

Mar 25, 2009 00:05:45


If I give you a number, can you always find another number whose sum and product with my number are the same?

FK. Twiddling Screws

Mar 18, 2009 00:04:24


Having lost their thumbs, Arp and Bif twiddle screws instead investigating a simple, but counterintuitive bit of 3D geometry.

FJ. Dr Loyd's Atomic Easter Eggs

Mar 13, 2009 00:05:49


For Easter Sunday, 2004, an old puzzle from the superb 19th century puzzler Sam Loyd.

FI. Paranoia!

Mar 10, 2009 00:04:16


Paranoid scientists don't trust anyone! How many locks are needed to protect the vital contents of a safe?

FH. Girdling The Earth

Mar 7, 2009 00:03:38


From March 28, 2004, a simple, surprising chestnut about girdling the earth.

FG. Mr Fled _Math_Factor_03_04_09

Mar 5, 2009 00:05:13


From March 21, 2004, we pose another old chestnut.

FF. Hostile Flowers

Mar 3, 2009 00:05:40


Recalling an early Star Trek episode, we save some space hippies from certain doom.

FE. Burn the Rope

Feb 28, 2009 00:06:50


Edmund Harriss steps in and poses a puzzle on this early segment.

FD. Space Walkers

Feb 24, 2009 00:08:06


Another segment from the Golden Age of Mathradio, Math Factor #5, aired February 22, 2004.

FC. Cool Clear Water

Feb 21, 2009 00:08:28


Math Factor Number Four; how much water is required to get across the desert? (This is basically the same problem as BK. Bananas and Rockets)

FB. The Legendary Monty Hall Problem

Feb 17, 2009 00:07:41


After all these years, we finally get around to putting the Monty Hall Problem up on the web-- it's deja vu all over again as we post the third math factor segment ever!

FA. The Johnsons

Feb 13, 2009 00:04:39


We revisit an old chestnut.

EZ. A Special Double Feature

Feb 3, 2009 00:16:05


Our servers are back up, after an astounding ice storm that shut down the town; we celebrate with a special double feature: "Google, Flutes and Monopoly" and the very first Math Factor Episode ever aired.

EY. Vth Anniversary Special

Jan 22, 2009 00:11:12


Our Fifth Anniversary Special! Come visit our brand new, totally fair casino!

EX. Gamblers Ruin

Jan 6, 2009 00:07:41


Shortly after taping this segment, Kyle and Chaim suddenly hit on a great way to make huge amounts of money. We'll offer you a terrific opportunity you can't refuse in next week's segment!!

EW: What's The Difference?

Dec 23, 2008 00:11:50


Isaac Newton's puzzling polynomial problem!

EU. Stacking Cannonballs

Dec 11, 2008 00:11:14


Pascal's has so many strange and amusing applications!

ET. Your Holiday Gift Guide

Dec 2, 2008 00:17:13


Our favorite new and not-so-new products for 2008! Check out Zome, Puzzellations, DROD, Magic Mirror Coloring Book, The Riddles of the Sphinx, the Nikoli puzzle company, The Princeton Companion to Mathematics, How Round is your Circle and many more ideas!

ES. The Ishango Bone

Nov 12, 2008 00:17:36


Dirk Huylebrouck discusses the incredible Ishango bone, and thousands of years of arithmetic.

ER. The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search

Nov 5, 2008 00:11:00


Just two months ago, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, discovered a huge prime number, with more than ten million digits! Mersenne primes are closely related to the famous "perfect" numbers, numbers which are the sum of their divisors.

EQ. Ed Pegg Returns

Oct 23, 2008 00:10:33


Ed Pegg, of mathpuzzle.com, joins us to discuss cellular automata and a fiendishly difficult puzzle.


Oct 13, 2008 00:06:08


Peter Winkler returns to discuss the bonus chapter in his book Mathematical Mind Benders!

EO. Spaghetti Loops

Oct 3, 2008 00:13:49


Just why does the constant e appear in so many ways?

EN. Plinko

Sep 26, 2008 00:10:14


We discuss some business and then consider the game of Plinko.

EM. Awash In Billiard Balls

Sep 19, 2008 00:06:47


We discuss math on TV, the smallest ungoogleable number and a devilish game with billiard balls.

EJ. Math Dance with Dr Schaffer and Mr Stern

Sep 8, 2008 00:08:37


Karl Schaffer of Math Dance shows us some geometry tricks.

EL. The Law of Small Numbers

Sep 4, 2008 00:09:21


In which we discuss the Fibonacci numbers, the law of small numbers, and just why one should expect to see the golden ratio so often.

EK. Math Factor at the Farmers Market

Aug 27, 2008 00:06:40


We set up a booth and wait to see what happens.

EI. How to Pass a Cube Through Itself!

Aug 23, 2008 00:03:36


We conclude our interview with Dana Richards.

EH. The Worm Makes It!

Aug 17, 2008 00:05:28


The worm makes it, in only about 15,092,688,622,113,788,323,693,563,264,538,101,449,859,497 steps! (Give or take a few) This incredible fact depends on the mysterious Harmonic Series, discussed a little more on the Math Factor website mathfactor.uark.edu.

EG. The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems

Aug 13, 2008 00:06:10


Dana Richards, editor of The Colossal Book of Short Problems and Puzzles, talks to us about Martin Gardner and his legacy.

EF. Visions of Symmetry

Jul 30, 2008 00:11:05


Escher expert Doris Schattschneider sits down with us in Leeuwarden, Friesland, his boyhood home.

EE. Tossem Beaver

Jul 22, 2008 00:09:14


Mathemagician Art Benjamin explains a few tricks of his trade!

ED. Mathemagician Art Benjamin

Jul 10, 2008 00:06:49


Art Benjamin, mathemagician extraordinaire amazes and delights...

EC. Skyrocketing functions

Jun 29, 2008 00:08:37


Some functions just take off! Amazingly there are functions that cannot be bounded in by anything that can be computed!

EB. Busy Beavers and Dumb Robots

Jun 20, 2008 00:16:25


We finally get around to discussing the Dumb Robots problem, the nature of computation, and baseball.

EA. The Limits of Computation

Jun 13, 2008 00:07:36


Can the answer to any mathematical question be computed?

DZ. Mind Control Across Time and Space

May 30, 2008 00:09:30


Erik Demaine of MIT controls minds across all time and all space!

DY. The Symmetries of Things

May 22, 2008 00:12:52


We shamelessly plug our beautiful new book, the Symmetries of Things, by John H. Conway, Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss.

DX. Dumb Robots

May 14, 2008 00:09:19


In which we discuss the incredible Collatz function, and smashing dumb robots into each other.

DV. Dealing with Chaos

May 2, 2008 00:08:27


We continue to play Tag Deal!

DU. Chaos at the Card Table

Apr 19, 2008 00:08:54


Mathematics writer Barry Cipra shares a simple, but perplexing card game puzzle.

DT. Speaking of Self Reference

Apr 13, 2008 00:06:12


We catch up with Raymond Smullyan, master logician.

DS. Math Chat with Frank Morgan

Apr 10, 2008 00:05:32


Frank Morgan chats about math and double bubbles.

DR. Double Bubbles

Apr 2, 2008 00:06:09


What is the shape of a double bubble? asks Frank Morgan of Williams College.

DQ. We Are Not Liars

Mar 27, 2008 00:05:38


All mathematicians are in fact liars.

DP. Would Chuck Wood

Mar 20, 2008 00:01:20


We consider that perennial spring conundrum: Would a woodchuck chuck her own wood if she would chuck would for exactly those woodchucks who would not chuck their own wood?

DO. Proofs, Puzzles and Conundra

Mar 11, 2008 00:07:28


Ed Burger tells us more!

DN. Prof Burgers Trousers

Mar 6, 2008 00:07:55


Ed Burger of Williams College tells us about puzzles and proofs, and poses his trousers puzzle.

DM. Primes, Codes and Kings

Feb 12, 2008 00:07:45


We continue our discussion...

DL. The Wicked King Problem

Feb 5, 2008 00:13:32


Can group theory thwart that wicked king?

DK. Flipping the Mattress

Jan 30, 2008 00:05:22


In which we consider the multiple ways to preserve a mattress.

DJ. Ed Pegg and Numb3rs

Jan 25, 2008 00:07:36


We interrupt Ed Pegg, of mathpuzzle.com and Wolfram research while he is working on a script for Numb3rs.

DI. Dice Games

Jan 10, 2008 00:06:16


A couple of puzzles with dice!

DH. Ice Cream Cake

Jan 4, 2008 00:09:14


Amazingly, the cake can be restored to its original state--- but why?

DG. Ants On A Rod

Dec 27, 2007 00:05:21


How long, Peter Winkler asks, before all the ants have fallen off the rod?

DF. Best Full House

Dec 22, 2007 00:02:16


A short poker puzzle from Peter Winkler, author of the new collection, Mathematical Mind Benders.

DE. Apples in Stereo

Dec 14, 2007 00:12:08


Robert Schneider of Apples in Stereo tells us about his unusual musical scale and his love of mathematics.

DD. Should We Teach Algebra

Dec 14, 2007 00:09:44


Bernie Madison tells us about his new innovative math course and whether college algebra is a waste of time for most students.

DC. Psychology Matters

Nov 12, 2007 00:04:32


... and Dennis Shasha, puzzle columnist for Scientific American and author of Puzzles for Programmers and Pros gives the solution to last week's puzzle.

DB. Envelope Mystery

Nov 5, 2007 00:06:26


Dennis Shasha returns with an answer, and a new puzzle!

DA. Cake Conundrum

Oct 28, 2007 00:06:10


Dennis Shasha poses a cake conundrum! Should Marie trust her older brother's scheme?

CZ. Division Trick

Oct 24, 2007 00:06:13


How does this little number trick work?

CY. Number Sleuthing

Oct 11, 2007 00:08:07


A little puzzle from Dennis Shasha's new book, Puzzles for Programmers and Pros.

CX.The Swimming Princess And A Beast

Oct 4, 2007 00:02:45


A princess plots her escape from a waiting beast...

CW. The Surreal Numbers

Sep 26, 2007 00:10:04


John H. Conway discusses his Surreal Number System, and other infinite oddments.

CV. Dividing Up The Loot

Sep 8, 2007 00:10:46


The Pirates split the loot inductively, like the clever pirates they are.

CU. Eminently Logical Pirates _Math_Factor_2007_08_30

Sep 1, 2007 00:11:36


A boatload of eminently logical pirates must divide some loot...

CT. Odd People

Aug 15, 2007 00:03:02


An odd number of odd people mill about in a field...

CS. Perfect Sums

Aug 8, 2007 00:07:13


And we return with a new puzzle, on perfectly summing sets!

CR. Clock Confusion

Jul 28, 2007 00:04:14


How many times a day can the clock be read two different ways?

CQ. Dollar Auction

Jun 26, 2007 00:15:59


Bill Poundstone, author of "The Prisoner's Dilemma" fills us in.

CP. The Prisoners Dilemma

Jun 12, 2007 00:14:31


More discussion of Mismatched Pennies, and Kyle and Chaim face a difficult choice: Rat or Don't Rat!

CO. Mismatched Pennies

Jun 4, 2007 00:16:25


Kyle and Chaim play a game of mismatched pennies. But which side has the advantage?

CN. Name That Date

May 28, 2007 00:15:49


John H. Conway explains his "Doomsday" rules for finding the day of the week of any date.

CM. Crossing the Bridge

May 22, 2007 00:11:22


Save Indiana, his girlfriend, his father and his father's sidekick from certain doom! They must cross a bridge across a gorge in less than one hour!

CL. Some number of numbers sum

May 13, 2007 00:10:17


Niclas gives his solution, and we pose a question on summing some number of numbers...

CK. The Third Tree

May 7, 2007 00:08:35


Niclas Hedell asks how to find a third tree in the forest. And the stork nabs the frog.

CJ. The Frog and Stork

Apr 30, 2007 00:14:04


Lord Butler has never heard of last week's puzzle, but does agree he moves down the table each year. And the Stork asks how to catch the Frog.

CI. The Royal Order of the Garter

Apr 24, 2007 00:04:36


The twenty-five members of the Royal Order of the Garter meet once each year about a round table. From time immemorial, there has been a rule that no two members may be seated next to one another more than once a decade. But can they do better?

CH. Rayos Number

Apr 16, 2007 00:15:19


A contestant for our Million-Dollar-Give-Away sent in Rayo’s Number, hitherto the largest number ever used for any real purpose: winning a LARGE NUMBER CHAMPIONSHIP! Check out mathfactor.uark.edu for details!

CG. Graham's Number

Apr 10, 2007 00:11:25


Not quite the largest number ever used...

CF. Mind Boggling

Apr 1, 2007 00:12:38


Still Growing!!

CE. Big Numbers

Mar 25, 2007 00:07:24


Some Very Large Numbers and we announce our new website, mathfactor.uark.edu!

CD. Alas, Up To A Million Dollars Might Have Been Given Away.

Mar 20, 2007 00:14:40


We discuss the results of the fabulous Math Factor Million Dollar Giveaway. and confess this was an excuse to bring up Game Theory and how to talk about really big numbers.

CC. Fair Division

Mar 16, 2007 00:06:16


The solution to the cake cutting puzzle; the end of the Million Dollar Give-Away.

CB. Pi Day

Mar 8, 2007 00:00:49


We take this week off to celebrate Pi Day.

CA. Cut the Cake!

Mar 1, 2007 00:08:34


How to satisfy the most jealous of triplets?

BZ. Two Teams

Feb 22, 2007 00:06:11


Twenty three people split into two teams of eleven & one ref; no matter how they split, the teams have the same total weight! Can the players themselves be different weights?

BY. Guests at a Party

Feb 13, 2007 00:02:08


A short, but tricky puzzle: how many guests must you invite before you can be sure that there are at least three mutual acquaintances or three mutual strangers?

BW. The Math Factor Million Dollar Give Away

Feb 5, 2007 00:03:23


Up to $1,000,000 in Prize Money May Be Given Away! Whoever sends us the largest number wins the prize-- a million dollars divided by the winning entry!

BV. 9's Strike Again

Jan 31, 2007 00:03:48


A beginner's guide to mind-reading.

BU. The Online Mind Reader

Jan 23, 2007 00:06:46


The mysterious oracle at www.flashpsychic.com, and other enigmas!

BT. A Runcinated Dodecaplex

Jan 16, 2007 00:08:25


We visit a giant model of a four-dimensional polyhedron, made of the fabulous Zome math construction toy. Paul Hildebrandt, president of Zome, weighs in.

BS. Aha! Escape!

Jan 16, 2007 00:06:36


Dozens of listeners sent us solutions, mercifully freeing us from this 50x50x50' box.

BR. We Don't Know the Way Out!

Jan 9, 2007 00:04:06


This puzzle has us stumped! How do you escape this diabolical trap?

BQ. The Smuggler is Paid

Dec 21, 2006 00:04:33


Dennis Shasha answers his puzzle.

BP. The Smuggler's Fee

Dec 7, 2006 00:05:53


Dennis Shasha, author of the "Puzzler's Elusion" gives us a new puzzle.

BO. When did you say?

Nov 30, 2006 00:05:43


The solution, and a very easy puzzle.

BN. Puzzling Panelists

Nov 21, 2006 00:02:50


A quickie: how many puzzled panelists can you have?

BM. An astronomical cost!

Nov 11, 2006 00:06:47


The conclusion to the banana & camel puzzle.

BL. Eternally diminishing returns

Oct 31, 2006 00:06:49


With enough time and patience and bananas, can we go as far as we please?

BK. Bananas and Rockets

Oct 26, 2006 00:07:44


A classic puzzle reveals why rockets require so much fuel, even for wee payloads.

BJ. The Most Powerful Force

Oct 12, 2006 00:08:56


Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying that compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. He didn't really say that, but the sentiment is valid. If you compound more and more frequently, is there a limit on the interest one can earn?

BI. The Shape of the Universe

Oct 2, 2006 00:10:11


Jeff Weeks tells us about the hypersphere, the Poincaré conjecture and the topology of the universe!

BH. The Poincaré Conjecture

Sep 26, 2006 00:08:17


Jeff Weeks, author of "The Shape of Space", discusses the hypersphere and the famous Poincaré Conjecture!

BG. Bamboopalooza!

Sep 17, 2006 00:11:17


Join Chaim and Kyle at Bamboopalooza 3! Octahedral pencil holders, giant 12 pointed bamboo stars, pig lighters and other mathematical oddments were enjoyed by all! (Google for pictures!)

BF. Catching Errors

Sep 11, 2006 00:04:49


Credit card numbers have an error catching code, that uses the tricks of the last few weeks.

BE. Trap door encryption

Sep 6, 2006 00:10:10


Is this podcast legally a "munition"? Old ideas in number theory are the basis for a whole new class of powerful encryption schemes that underlie the modern internet economy.

BD. Magic Numbers

Aug 25, 2006 00:07:11


We discuss a neat trick involving powers, mod a pair of primes.

BC. Casting Out Nines

Aug 18, 2006 00:06:20


How do modern "trap-door" encryption schemes work? Over the next three weeks we'll explain, but to warm up, we talk about the medieval practice of "casting out nines".

BA. The Ring is Exchanged

Aug 15, 2006 00:04:51


Peter Winkler answers his puzzle set in the Land of Kleptomaniacs, and we chat about Martin Gardner. We'll pose another puzzle next week!

AZ. Another puzzle from Peter Winkler

Aug 7, 2006 00:03:19


We answer last week's puzzle and Peter Winkler asks how to send a ring through the land of the kleptomaniacs.

AY. Dollar Cost Averaging

Jul 30, 2006 00:05:19


A common investment strategy takes advantage of the subtleties of averaging.

AX. Averages are not what they seem!

Jul 24, 2006 00:06:45


Is a man of perfectly average height, and perfectly average weight, too heavy for his size? Averages are not what they seem to be.

AW. Will we run out of Social Security Numbers?

Jul 20, 2006 00:05:19


When will the crisis come? When will we run out of Social Security Numbers, and other musings.

AV. Dennis Shasha Answers

Jul 7, 2006 00:05:09


The solution is a quick bit of algebra, but how do you explain it on the air?

AU. Dennis Shasha asks about Polish Multiplication

Jul 2, 2006 00:04:23


Dennis Shasha, puzzle columnist for Scientific American, asks about a curious way to multiply numbers on your fingers.

AT. Peter Winkler Answers

May 24, 2006 00:04:19


Peter Winkler answers. Another puzzle next week!

AS. A Puzzle From Peter Winkler

May 14, 2006 00:04:50


Peter Winkler, author of "Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection", asks how many coins are needed to cover a table.

AR. Quick Game

May 8, 2006 00:05:14


Two players take turns removing coins from a line; how can the first player always be sure to have at least as much money as the second?

AQ. The Principle of Indifference Redux

Apr 24, 2006 00:03:46


The solution to the balls puzzle and a quick puzzle about cards.

AO. Choosing Balls from A Bag

Apr 18, 2006 00:02:46


A fifty-fifty chance of drawing four blue balls from a bag: how many balls were blue?

AN. More Sucker Bets

Apr 10, 2006 00:05:58


Is there always a better choice?

AM. Arrow's Theorem

Apr 3, 2006 00:08:58


Can A be better than B, B be better than C and C be better than A? No voting system will ever be fair!

AL. Rumors and suckers

Mar 28, 2006 00:06:05


In which we show gossip is unreliable and how you can always fleece a sucker.

AK. Paradoxes and Liars

Mar 22, 2006 00:04:23


The mathematics of gossiping!

AJ. The Pop Quiz

Mar 14, 2006 00:04:53


Why 462 is the least interesting number less than 1000, and the students get a paradoxical pop quiz.

AI. Census Taker's Puzzle

Mar 13, 2006 00:03:46


The solution to the problem of the Three Gods: one always tells the truth; one always lies; one sometimes lies and sometimes tells the truth. When asked which is which, the one of the left says the one in the middle is the god of truth. The one in the middle says he sometimes lies and sometimes tells the truth. And the god on the right says the god in the middle is the god of falsehood. Who is who?


Jan 3, 2006 00:04:53


There are vastly many more real numbers than fractions! The MathFactor CD hidden track.

AG. The Eagle

Dec 18, 2005 00:06:17


How to do infinitely many things in a few minutes!

AF. Counting All

Dec 7, 2005 00:07:47


Are there more fractions than counting numbers?

AE. The Jalopy

Nov 23, 2005 00:04:41


An old jalopy zooms up and down Arkansas hills...

AD. Bigger and Smaller Infinities

Nov 15, 2005 00:07:50


Are there only half as many even numbers as counting numbers?

AC. No Vacancy

Nov 11, 2005 00:07:09


A hotel with an infinite number of rooms, all filled, but room for more?

AB. The Rational Ruler

Oct 10, 2005 00:07:04


Finer and finer, a ruler with infinitely many marks...

AA. The Way Out of the Forest

Oct 4, 2005 00:04:12


Which way leads out of the forest of Liars & Truth-tellers? This is the first episode on the Mathfactor CD, and the first mathfactor episode podcast to the world! For more information, listen to the podcast and send us an email! The Mathfactor is broadcast each Sunday morning on KUAF 91.3 FM, in Fayetteville Arkansas.