elebrate Christmas, you’re heading into the home stretch! As of this morning, there are nine days until the fat man comes down the chimney. I hope you’re more ready than I am! (My careful schedule has gone to pot, in some ways, derailed by a sick kid, aging dog and some unexpected work stuff. But I’m getting back on track.)
If you’ve hung out with me here at Math for Grownups for a while, you know how much I love Vi Hart. This chick is something else — a musician and a “recreational mathematician.” (According to her site, she now calls herself a recreational mathemusician.)
In short, Vi is the daughter of a math professor and a wonderful musician in her own right. She creates these really, really cool videos that explore the intricacies of mathematical concepts — from number theory to geometry.
Yeah, she’s a huge geek, but she’s one of those geeks who won’t make you feel dumb, and she’s funny.
This week, I came across her video, The Gauss Christmath Spectacular. (Gauss was a 16th and 17th century mathematician who dabbled in a huge array of topics, from optics to statistics.) There’s some stuff in here that will probably fly right over your head, but don’t let that discourage you. Instead, grab a cup of eggnog, plop your favorite high school or college student next to you, and jot down the math that you do recognize. You’ll probably surprise yourself.
Without further ado, Vi Hart’s take on the 12 Days of Christmas (my absolute favorite Christmas song when I was five years old — much to my parents’ dismay).
What did you recognize? Show off in the comments section!