Tag Archive: games

Human Knots

I read a post from The Math Less Traveled entitled, The Mathematics of Human Knots. In this post, the author discusses the game “human knot”, in which every player stands in a circle and grabs the hands of someone else in the circle so that everyone is seemingly tangled up. The goal of the game is then to untangle the knot without any pair of hands letting go of each other. Many people believe that untangling is always possible, however after Dr. Heath’s lecture on knots (and reading this article), I know that this is “knot” true (I crack myself up).

The reason that accomplishing the goal of “human knot” is not always possible is because certain knots exist which cannot be untangled. The blog post provides the example of the figure eight knot:

Just from looking at this knot one can see that the knot couldn’t be untangled without going through itself.

This spring Professor Heath is teaching a course on knot theory. I look forward to taking it.

Math Games

Many of us have fallen victim to the distraction of online games. Whether playing solitaire or harvesting crops on FarmVille (which I can proudly say I have never played), there is probably something else that you should be doing. Well, tonight while I was playing online math games, I decided to turn procrastination into productivity by blogging about it.

The web site that stood out to me was The Truth Tree’s Math and Logic Board. Story problems are the main focus of this particular website (if you had told me I’d be doing story problems for fun 13 years ago I would have said you were crazy). Unlike many “math game” web sites, this one is fairly advanced, with problems ranging from logical riddles, volumes of spheres, counting, topology and more. The only downside is that the answers are not provided. There is, however, an index of similar sites on the page.