Category Archives: Puzzles

Spaghetti Puzzle #1

About a month ago, math educator Marilyn Burns tweeted this puzzle: Here's a problem I've thought about for a long time. Not making progress, but I'm still fascinated. Help? pic.twitter.com/r6iagNUn76 — Marilyn Burns (@mburnsmath) December 6, 2015   Spoiler Alert: … Continue reading

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Puzzle #11: The Answer (Pi-Fingered Aliens)

I posted Puzzle #11 on Pi Day (3/14/15 in the U.S.).  I noted that the sequence of numbers in 3.14159… reflects not just π, but also ten, the base we use for our numbers. The question was: What is 30.12120111…? After no … Continue reading

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Puzzle #11: A Pi Day Problem

I thought of this Pi Day puzzle yesterday* while getting a haircut. I was thinking about this video by Vi Hart: Many people think that π is special because of its infinite digits. Hart disagrees. Most numbers are irrational like π, … Continue reading

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Puzzle #10: The Answer

The challenge posed by Puzzle #10: Erratic Bond Pricing? was to guess what might be the cause of apparently wild swings in market yields for some municipal bonds with the same issuer and maturity: Besides this blog, I shared the … Continue reading

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Puzzle #10: A Hint

Puzzle #10: Erratic Bond Pricing? asks you what might explain some apparently erratic swings in yields for certain sporadically traded municipal bonds.  I stated that the bonds share the same issuer and maturity date. The puzzle is a bit sneaky, so … Continue reading

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Puzzle #10: Erratic Bond Pricing?

At last week’s Municipal Finance Conference in Boston, I made a brief presentation in response to a paper1 that described a new approach to deriving yield curves from municipal bond trade data. The authors have applied neural network techniques to the … Continue reading

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Puzzle #9 (Follow-up): Melting Fractals

The song “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen celebrates “frozen fractals.” I suppose a frozen fractal is something like the Koch snowflake. Lately, though, one of my puzzles has made me more interested in melting fractals. The challenge of Puzzle … Continue reading

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