MET GALA MATHs for Middle School

September 16, 2021

There is a lot of middle school maths in fashion from design, to fabrication to costing. But it’s much more fun to  see some of the maths in the NY MET GALA outfits.

More on the Wedding Train drag maths here.

More on killer heels here.


6. Find suit pattern information here.

Some of these images came from the fab coverage of the MET GALA at Vogue

Do teachers need fashion help? Funny post here


Maths in the Real World: 10 Attention Grabbers for Middle School

September 5, 2021

1. Smoke Jumpers: The Amazing Maths of wildfires






2. The Rolling Coin Paradox!!



3. How barcodes work!



4. Pop Song Beats and Jogging


Pop Song Beats and Jogging MATHS HERE


5. Linear Math and Linear Drumming. It’s a thing!


Linear Math and Linear Drumming. HERE


6. Powers and the Loudest Rock Band in the World

Powers and the Loudest Rock Band MATHS HERE


7. Alcohol Kills! Calculate how much would kill you!

Alcohol Kills! MATHS HERE


8. Tall Tales: Is height the most important factor in sport?

Height in Sport maths: USA UNITS HERE

Height in Sport maths: METRIC UNITS HERE


9. Mmmmm! Chocolate. Yes! It can kill  you

Chocolate. Yes! It can kill  you MATHS HERE


10. Random Music? You think!


Random Music?MATHS HERE


Car Crash Maths: Saved by a millisecond

August 22, 2021

*In 1970 the Victorian Government made the wearing of seat belts compulsory.

*The first government in the west to do so.

 *Within 14 months the other Australian states followed.

*The road toll in Australia dropped:

   1969       3,382 road deaths per year

   1988       2,887 deaths

   2018      1,135  deaths

Mathspig lived on a country police station before seat belts became compulsory and a number of kids she went to school with died in car accidents.

Three factors have reduced the road toll in Australia:

1. Wearing seat belts

2. Stopping drink driving

3. Introducing Airbags (from 1980s)

Our eyes can easily detect the blink (above) set a 300ms.

Ditto, the light flash (below), which is set to flash at  200 ms but it will drive you CRAZY if you look at it for too long.

The fabulous video (below) will show you the amazing details of the ms timing that saves lives in a car crash. You will see real car crash tests. And the frightening results too.

It was made by an engineer who worked for GMH or Holden as we call it in Australia. 


The Lego Olympics 2020

July 30, 2021


2D Random Walk or doing the Bell Curve Shuffle

July 28, 2021

This is the best Middle School Probability outdoor exercise  EVER!


1 coin per student. 


In the schoolyard, students move back and forward with the flip of a coin. Must be a good flip. This exercise works best with a grid drawn on the schoolyard in chalk, perhaps. (See pic below) If possible film the exercise from above.

Now here are lots of people doing this 2D random Walk on Wall St. The results are totally amazing.



Watch for the Bell Curve. It’s AWESOME.

This video was made by The National Museum of Mathematics NY.

Check out their Squared wheeled bike here.


2D Random Walk and a Drunk Mathematician

July 9, 2021

The random walk is a way to create a path based on random decisions at junctions. If you’ve played a procedurally generated video game, including major examples like Minecraft and Stardew Valley as well as cult favorites like Spelunky and Dwarf Fortress, you’ve encountered a random walk in the form of a dungeon or terrain made this way in the programming. More @ Popular Mechanics

2D Random Walk math helps game programmers to plot interesting pathways in games like Minecraft Dungeons. (above)

Plot a 2D Random Walk

There are 4 choices:


Note: This 2D random walk is limited to a 1-unit step length and right angles turns.

Set the Random Number Spinner here to 4 and generate 8 random moves of 1 unit and plot the moves on the worksheet(below).

1  up

2  down

3  right

4  left

Printable Worksheet: 2D Random Walk Worksheet

Here are 5 X 8 step 2D Random Walks.

These 2D Random Walks do not look like the path taken by a drunk mathematician.

Drunken Mathematician 

This looks like a drunken mathematician and the 2D Random Walk for a drunk mathematician would look like pathways shown below with variable step lengths and turns from 0-360°.

All Random Walks can be mathematically modeled. eg. Go to MIT here. This math can be quite complicated (See here.) But all we want to do is plot the 2D Random Walk to see random numbers in action.


A Bitcoin Bubble, a Random Walk and a blind-folded Monkey

July 6, 2021

What is all this monkey business? It started in 1973 when Princeton University professor Burton Malkiel claimed in his bestselling book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, that “A blindfolded monkey throwing darts at a newspaper’s financial pages could select a portfolio that would do just as well as one carefully selected by experts.”

In other words, the stock price movement is random. 

See Forbes Magazine here.

Now in its 12th edition, the book tackles Investment Bubbles including Bitcoin. Is there a Bitcoin Bubble? According to the ABC on 24 MAY 2021 this was the Bitcoin Bubble Graph:

From the ABC news here

Random Walk Game

So can you beat the financial market? Try this 2D Random Walk game (pic below) to see if you can guess the next random move and beat the system.

In the game, you have to remove gold blocks by clicking on blocks in the way of the moving green dot, but you lose energy (lose money, perhaps) each time you remove a block.  Can you guess where the green dot is moving? Can you survive? Mmmmm! Good Luck. You’ll need it.


3D Random Walk Math . . . . . . . . . . . . for Middle School

July 6, 2021

Random Walk math is both simple and complicated all at the same time. The math models are a little bit complicated but the concept is simple. 

Random walk math is used to model many processes in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Zoology, finance (Stock market movement), psychology, ecology,  computer science, and video games.

Simple Example:

Choices: Up, Down, N, S, E, W.

Note: We are still using constant step size and right-angle turns.

The random walk of one particle would look something like this from Mathworld:

In an infinite no. of steps the probability of reaching the starting point again is 0.3405373296 or about one-third. Mathematicians use math models to calculate the probability of a particle ending up here or there or back where it started. eg. It is less likely that the particle above would move in a straight line 500 times in a row. 

You can play with a 3D random walk generator here.

And check out this excellent video explaining a 3D Random Walk in nature.


How the UK Aced Covid, sort of …

June 29, 2021

London yesterday. Spectators give a spontaneous standing ovation to Oxford Professor Sarah Gilbert (below), who was one of the scientists involved in developing the Astra-Zeneca vaccine and one of 100 key worker special guests on opening day. (The Age, 29 JUN, 2021)

Here are the Covid-19 Vaccination stats for the UK as of yesterday:

BBC, 29 JUN 2021

The UK recorded 22, 868 cases yesterday, but only 3 deaths.

The last time the UK recorded close to 23,000 cases was on 16 December 2020. That day, 613 deaths were announced. (The Age, 29 JUN 2021)

In 2019, in the UK, the total death toll was 616,014 or 1688 per day. Tragically but realistically elderly patients with multiple health issues are more likely to contract Covid and die from complications exacerbated by Covid-19 but not necessarily caused by the virus.

The death toll numbers are now encouragingly low in the UK despite the high infection rates from the highly contagious Covid Delta variant.


On 9 July 2021, the UK recorded 35,707 cases and 29 Deaths. According to  Worldometer stats  (below), the case numbers and deaths are still rising. Too soon to celebrate even though the UK Freedom Day is only 10 days away.


Holiday Music: The Random Playlist & Not so Random Math

June 18, 2021

USE The Random Number Spinning Wheel HERE


Here’s Mathspig’s Play List with links:

1. Angie McMahon, Melb, AUS      Pasta

2. San Cisco, WAust                      Skin

3. Go Get Mum, Melb, AUS           Phone, Key, Wallet

4. Shirley Kovacs, Netherlands      Sound of the Underground

5. The Teskey Brothers, Vic           Hold Me

6. The Dead South, Canada           In Hell I’ll Be in Good Company

7. The Staves, UK                           The Long Run

8.  Cat Clyde, Canada                     Mama Said

9. Mojo Juju, Melb, AUS                  Train Along the Hawkesbury

10. Marlon Williams, NZ                   Hello Miss Lonesome

11. Syzygy, Melb, AUS                      The Pendulum

12. Vampire Weekend, USA              Harmony Hall