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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
Posted in Fun, Puzzles
Tagged Calculus, Ivan Moscovich, Probability, Spaghetti Puzzle, Walking Stick Puzzle
6 Comments
Puzzle #11: The Answer (PiFingered 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
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
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
Posted in Bonds, Puzzles
Tagged Bond Puzzle, Municipal Bonds, Municipal Finance Conference, Puzzle
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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
Posted in Bonds, Puzzles
Tagged Bond Puzzle, Municipal Bonds, Municipal Finance Conference, Puzzle
8 Comments
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
Posted in Bonds, Puzzles
Tagged Bond Puzzle, Municipal Bonds, Municipal Finance Conference, Puzzle
15 Comments
Puzzle #9 (Followup): 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
Posted in Fun, Graphic Presentation, Math, Puzzles, Visualization
Tagged Big Data, Fractals, Latin Hypercube Sampling, Latin Squares, MATLAB, Sierpinski Tetrahedron
2 Comments
Puzzle #9 (Followup): Binary Sudoku and the Limits of Visualization
In Puzzle #9: Island of Games, I described an island where a thousand residents enjoy playing three games: Chess, Checkers, and speedsolving of Rubik’s Cube. Each islander’s skill at each game is assessed with a rating score between zero and … Continue reading
Posted in Graphic Presentation, Puzzles, Visualization
Tagged Anscombe's Quartet, Big Data, Edward Tufte, Kirk Monteverde, Puzzle
5 Comments
Puzzle #7 (Followup): Treasury Island, Part 1
In Puzzle #7: The Mysterious Islands, I told the story of two islands where each individual’s remaining lifespan can be perfectly predicted. The lifespans on Uniformia are evenly distributed, and their average remaining life expectancy will gradually decline over time. … Continue reading
Posted in Bonds, Fun, Math, Puzzles
Tagged Life Expectancy, Puzzle, Weighted Average Life
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Puzzle #8: James Bond
Few know that a scene was cut from the James Bond movie Goldfinger. Bond has been captured by Goldfinger and is strapped tightly to a large turntable. Bond’s feet are at the center of the platter and his head rests … Continue reading
Posted in Bonds, Fun, Math, Puzzles
Tagged Bond Math, Bond Math Puzzle, James Bond, laser blasts, Puzzle
2 Comments