October Problem of the Month is Out!

The Nabob of the PotM has challenged us for October!  Click on the it below for the big version.  Usual rules apply.

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 7.07.00 PM


Bouncing Off the Walls

Like us at Math Blog HQ, the Problem of the Month’s Big Kahuna is back from a restful summer (the BK was no doubt lounging on the beaches of the Outer Banks).

If you’re looking for something to ponder while you wait for your first homework assignments, you can do no better than the Problem of the Month.  The Big Kahuna has dropped a fantastic first problem on us:


Go here for the full sized version.

Problem of the Month: Examples Needed

The Grand Poobah of the Problem of the Month has unleashed a new Problem.  You can read the problem (and the rules) at the Problem of the Month webpage. It’s all about finding a certain bounded function.

Bounded Function

If you can’t get enough of math pun comics, you’ve got to check out this webpage!


Don’t tell him, but we think the Grand Poobah of the PotM has bounded rationality.

It doesn’t matter how you stack it

If Spring Break has already made you bored, you should know that the Problem Pontiff released the March Problem of the Month.  It’s all about tiling rectangles with rectangles.  In particular, rectangles with at least one side length being an integer.

 A tiling of a rectangle by 7 rectangles.

A tiling of a rectangle by 7 rectangles.

For a full explanation of the problem and how to submit your solution, go to the POTM webpage.

And by remarkable cunning Adam Ladine was once again winner of the POTM!

Another tiling (from Indiana University’s Math Dept. gallary):


Evolving Triangles!

You’ve probably already seen it on the second floor of PHSC next to the elevators, but we thought we should mention that the February POM is also posted online  http://www.math.ou.edu/potm/.


Evolved Triangles from dirtytriangles.com

Also, a big shoutout to the winner of the Dec-Jan POM.    Adam LaDine was randomly selected out of the correct entries.  Congratulations Adam!

Problem of the Month(s)

The POM Author (artist's rendering)

The POM Author (artist’s rendering)

In the hustle-bustle of finals, you may have missed that the Grand Vizier of monthly problems posted the December Problem of the Month.  You can read it here.

Don’t be alarmed by the fact that December is more than half over, though, because this is also the Problem of the Month for January.  So you have until the end of next month to get your solutions in.

Here’s the problem:

Four (shy) mathematicians are sitting around a table and want to know the average of their salaries. The problem is, none of them wants to reveal their salary to anyone else at the table. Is it possible to develop a scheme by which they can compute this average without spilling the beans on their salary?

Problem 1: Develop a scheme that our mathematicians can use to compute the average salary, without any one person knowing the salary of anyone else.

What if one of these four does not mind divulging his salary so that he is able determine the other three salaries, is it possible to construct a scheme to compute the average without revealing all the salaries?

Problem 2: Develop a scheme that the above mathematicians can use to compute the average of their salaries, without divulging the salary of anyone who wants to keep it secret.

— from the POM webpage

Just the thing to stimulate your mind while pretending to listen to your uncle drone on and on about who knows what during the family dinner!

The Problem of the Month is Alive!

The Problem of the Month has just come out of a year long hiatus.  Don’t worry, though.  It was in suspended animation and is feeling better than ever!

You can find the problem on the math department’s webpage (just look for the Problem of the Month link).   Or click here to go to it directly.   In the non-virtual world you can find the problem and the rules in the display case on the 2nd floor of PHSC next to the elevators.

Not surprisingly,  November’s Problem of the Month is only open for business until the end of the month.   Get busy!