Official Seal of MATHSPIG The President of the United States of Mathematics

The Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ Speech and Winston Churchill’s ‘We shall fight on the beaches … we shall fight in the fields and in the streets … we shall never surrender’ speech were speeches that inspired millions in difficult times.

Maths needs an inspiring speech.

Why?

Because today too many kids do maths like this:

They sit in front of a computer. They answer questions on a program as if they’re shooting at a target. They don’t care about the maths. They just want to know their score. All very entertaining … but they’re not working their brains. They do not think.

Many do not know their tables even in Year 7.

Maths has turned into a guessing game. And they struggle with it.

Here is some simply fab maths for the Sochi Winter Olympics. You don’t have to jump off a ski ramp to work out what’s going on … just do the chilly maths.

Even if, like Muhammad Ali, you can move like a butterfly and sting like a bee, evidence shows that being hit in the head can cause brain damage and/or kill you. (Ban boxing – it’s demeaning and dangerous, New Scientist, 12 Aug, 2013)

Don’t get into a fight about this issue. Just do the maths. It’s a no brainer!

Last year was a yummy year. Mathspig statistics … Mathspig lervs statistics show:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

But some think you don’t need maths. This makes Mathspig soooooooo mad. Here is what she has to say, Sweeties:

The.skeptics acknowledge two recorded cases of death by laughing. On 24 March 1975, Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King’s Lynn, England, died laughing while watching the “Kung Fu Kapers” episode of The Goodies, featuring a kilt-clad Scotsman with his bagpipes battling “Ecky Thump”, who was armed with a black pudding

and

Damnoen Saen-um, a Thai ice cream salesman, is reported to have died in 2003 while laughing in his sleep at the age of 52.

…………………………………………………………………………………

Wikipedia claims one American died in 2012 from laughing. This claim cannot be confirmed.

Even if one case was reported look at the odds or probability:

Die Laughing : 1 in 7,000,000,000 for the World

or 1 in 310,000,000 in the USA.

This is a much lower probability according to Oddee than dying in the USA from:

Roller Coasters

1 in 77.5 million

Vending Machines

1 in 24 million

Falling out of bed

1 in 690,000

Texting while driving

1 in 62,000

Meanwhile LiveScience puts the probability of dying in the States from:

Note Mathspigs: Reading statistics requires brains. The probability of you dying from legal execution is ZERO if you have not murdered anyone. The probability of dying from a Vending Machine is almost ZERO if you never go near one. One could, of course, fall of the back off the back of a truck. The probability of dying from heart disease is very low at 12 years of age.

Death by Maths:

Here is the exercise my pretties.

Put these statistics into a bar graph. The exercise is really looking at GRAPH SCALES because once you put in Heart Disease everything else almost disappears off the graph.

MONEYBALL is a film starring Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah HIll on current release in Australia. It is based on the true story of Oakland A’s Baseball team manager, Billy Beane (Pitt), who along with Ivy League Economics graduate and Uber Maths Nerd Peter Brand (Hill) used player stats to save the Oakland A’s baseball team in 2002.

…..…

Not only does Billy Beane have to deal with enormous budget restraints ( Oakland A’s budget was $4o million compared with the Yankee’s $125 million), he showed that the statistics were more effective than experience ie. the stats BEAT the club selector’s know-how.

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Mathspig, who played softball in Australia – bigger ball, similar rules – saw the film and lerved the maths. Basically, Billy Beane bought up players with one particular skill – holding first base, stealing bases and the like – thus boosting the overall stats for the team. But Mathspig found some of the calculations weird.

This equation is called the Pythagorean Expectation. The wha? Mathspig is sooooo confused.

WHAT’S GOING ON?

Mathpig went searching for an expert opinion and found it at MATHS GOES POP, an awesome blog linking maths with pop culture and written by a mathematics PhD student at UCLA.

Mathspig won’t give a spoiler for the film, but found the maths is BASEBALL MATHS. It’s a formula used for baseball only and named after Pythagoras because it sorta looks – chew gum here and try a Brad Pitt drawl- like the Theorem of that Greek Math Guy. You do not need to use this EQUATION unless, perhaps, you are going to coach the New York Yankees.

Even IF YOU DO COACH THE NEW YORK YANKEES this equation, doesn’t give you that much information. We will fix ‘runs allowed’. OK. If ‘runs scored’ is high Win is high; it ‘runs scored’ is low Win is low. Um, this means SCORING RUNS is GOOD. Yeah! We knew that without the maths.

If you are interested in the maths, have a look at MONEYBALL MATH on the Math Goes Pop blog otherwise just keep eating your popcorn and enjoy the film.