The Marble and the Vase

A fairly common max/min problem asks the student to find the point on the parabola that is closest to the point .  The solution is not too difficult. The distance, L(x), between A and the point  on the parabola  is given by And the minimum distance can be found when This occurs when . The local…

Show me the Math!

Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio begins When you work in cosmology … one of the facts of life becomes the weekly letter, e-mail, or fax from someone who wants to describe to you his own theory of the universe (yes, they are invariably men). The biggest mistake you can make is to politely answer that you would like…