More Cool Maths

Hmm. There has been quite a lot of book-related excitement recently which I was going to discuss with you, but it’s come to my attention that this Saturday is a rather important event:

It’s Pi day!

Yes, that’s a thing. It’s much more special this year, though, because take a peek at the first 10 digits:

3.141592653

game of life It will be the 14th day of the 3rd month (shh, it’s that strange American way of writing dates) and it will also be 2015. You could also go down to 9:26:53 on that day, but that might be getting a little too specific. let’s just appreciate the awesomeness that is π, okay? Here, have a nice interactive graphic about circles. (Or alternatively, begin memorising it to 50 digits as I have. Maybe do that after.)

Well, there was supposed to be a widget here but my coding skills failed so you’ll have to click the link instead.

Now, sometime at the end of last term our maths teacher was basically just like ‘Scrap the syllabus let’s do something cool’ and we all spent the lesson doing Conway’s Game of Life. (No, not the one with the little cars and people and passports and jobs and stuff.) It’s basically a computer program with these four rules:

  • 1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
  • 2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.

gospel glider gun

  • 3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
  • 4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

It’s fun to play around on the versions that are available online, but if you just want to look at the pretty gifs then here is just one of several tumblrs devoted to GoL.

See, wasn’t that some pretty maths? *swoons*
And that’s pretty much it. There are some really awesome patterns, though – including one that goes on forever, for some reason called the Gospel Glider Gun, as seen above.