Cars (and trucks) have been used as weapons by drivers purposefully driving into crowds including:

2014: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

2014 : Jerusalem, Israel.

2016: Nice, France

2016: Berlin, Germany

2017: Jerusalem, Israel

2017: Melbourne, Australia.

What does the maths tell us?

Melbourne is Mathspig’s home town. The car attack killed, tragically, 6 people and injured many more. The question many seem to ask is:

Why can’t people get out of the way?

Look at the video below of the Melbourne car. It doesn’t appear to be going that fast. But the maths tells a different story. You need quite a distance between you and a car travelling at approx 60 kph to have enough time to run clear. (See calculations below)

How fast do you react?

We will set your reaction time at 0.4 sec. This allows time for you to react and turn. If you want to test your reaction time go here. But remember you have to turn as well.

How fast would you run?

According to the Telegraph, UK, the average human can run at 15.9 mph (25.6 kph) and the National Council of Strength and Fitness 15 mph (24.1kph), which Mathspig has rounded off to 25 kph.

How do you escape a car travelling at 60 kph towards you when you are less than 9 m away?

Jump upwards!

You might reduce the impact and even go over the roof.

Cars (and trucks) have been used as weapons by drivers purposefully driving into crowds including:

2014: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

2014 : Jerusalem, Israel.

2016: Nice, France

2016: Berlin, Germany

2017: Jerusalem, Israel

2017: Melbourne, Australia.

What does the math tell us?

Melbourne is Mathspig’s home town. The car attack killed, tragically, 6 people and injured many more. The question many seem to ask is:

Why can’t people get out of the way?

Look at the video below of the Melbourne car. It doesn’t appear to be going that fast. But the math tells a different story. You need quite a distance between you and a car travelling at approx 35 mph to have enough time to run clear. (See calculations below)

How fast do you react?

We will set your reaction time at 0.4 sec. This allows time for you to react and turn. If you want to test your reaction time go here. But remember you have to turn as well.

I started my maths workshop in Hamburg by stirring up some friendly rivalry. And what better way to do this than by using statistics.

Which is the biggest country?

Australia is 21.5 times the area of Germany. So I counted off 22 workshop participants and pointed to one saying ‘Your’re Germany! Ha!’ Here’s another way to compare areas:

Which country has the largest population?

Germany has 3.5 times the population of Australia.

But the really interesting questions are:

Who drinks more beer?

Who eats more meat?

Here are the answers to these and other interesting questions from the introduction to my workshop with apologies to Brisbane and Perth:

Here are some amazing ways to make middle school maths AMAZING:

IMAGINARY is a German website where ART and MATHS combine. It is AMAZING.

Schools, museums, students, anyone can download interactive Computer Programs like MORENAMENTS (below) to create art, maths demonstrations and public exhibitions. IMAGINARY also contains maths/art films, an art gallery, programs for printing 3D-sculptures, maths texts and exercises, and more.

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It is FREE.

It is written in ENGLISH.

Here are a few highlights picked by Mathspig, but you have to explore the website yourself.

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SURFER

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SURFER is a program that allows you to put in any equation and test the resulting 3D image. There is a brief video explaining how it works and you can download the program here.

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WORKSHEETS

You can download worksheets for every school level, but get ready. Here is a worksheet for 5-7 year olds. But why not? Five year olds can look at sheet music without running away screaming, why not show them ALGEBRA too?

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Mathematicians Just Wanna Have Fun

The following videos show mathematicians having fun! If your middle-school students think maths is ‘boring’ show them just one of these videos.

Dutch Artist, Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests or Beach Beasts are the most mystical, magical mechanical beasts to walk the earth. And the maths involved is mind boggling with respect to accuracy.

Once again (See 10. Funky, Fab and Fantastic) you can see the maths at work here, but getting it right is tricky.

Here are some of his bigger creatures in action:

But you can build your own Standbeest from a kit that you buy online. This is a wonderful ‘maths’ challenge. And cost is $US10-20 or less. Here is the Strandbeest built by Mr Mathspig.

But you will really appreciate how hard it is to immitate animal movement if you try to construct ONE LEG in balsa wood or icecream sticks. Mathspig took the dimensions of our small Strandbeest (written in mm on each strut) and created this gif using Gifcreator here. Can you make a beast leg walk?

You can see a more detailed design of the Strandbeest leg here.