Here's a summary of the goodies in this issue:
This summer issue covers a wide range of topics. Susan D’Agostino turns to Polya’s text How to Solve It to tackle a tricky problem: creating a new major in mathematics that is relevant in today’s world. Ilhan Izmirli gives us an overview of how culture affects our basic views of what constitutes mathe- matical knowledge. Meanwhile Sue VanHattum presents a personal, in-depth look at how mathematical problems actually get solved, and Kris Green con- templates how the teaching of mathematical thinking could impact public understanding of evolution. JoAnne Growney provides a friendly yet brief account of the diversity of the mathematical blogosphere and other online resources. Reuben Hersh presents a profile of Alvin White, the founder of our predecessor journal, the Humanistic Mathematics Network Journal. Marjorie Senechal reviews a book containing the non-mathematical writings of another hero of the JHM editorial staff: prominent activist, writer, and mathematician Chandler Davis. We also have a review of Joe Mazur’s What’s Luck Got to Do with It? written by Michael Lugo, and some fantastic math- ematical poetry, by Sarah Glaz, Florin Diacu, and Mari-Lou Rowley. The short story “Final Exam” by Robert Dawson wraps up this issue.
I've never put what I wrote about in the paper here on my blog, because it's about the solution to a very cool problem, and I'd rather not show people answers here. I'm more interested in enticing you into playing the game of math yourselves. The problem is:
On a circle, put some points. Connect each point to every other point with straight lines. How many regions are created for n points? (Check your prediction by working out the circle with 6 points.)
Play with it. It took me years to get to the solution. But it was always fun to play with.