Summer is here and it’s no time to let your brain rot. Dorky Geeky Nerdy is here to keep that gray matter working over the break. Today we present thirty trivia questions about the field of Mathematics. So, polish your slide rule and get ready for Mathematics Trivia.
A huge shout out to W. Blaine Dowler for his help on writing these questions. Blaine does podcasts over at Bureau42.com on a variety of geeky subjects, most notably the X-Files Retrospective Podcast. I highly recommend you check them out.
Pencils sharpened and books away. Time for a pop quiz.
Extra Credit Podcasts & Videos
It’s Summertime. Or at least it is in the Northern Hemisphere. And Summer is when it’s time to head out of school and let all that knowledge fall out of your brains. But we here at Dorky Geeky Nerdy are going to help keep your brains sharp over Summer break.
Hey there. This is your host, Brian Rollins and over the Summer, Dorky Geeky Nerdy will be featuring Summer School episodes every Saturday, in addition to our usual Wednesday episodes. While our Wednesday episodes will still focus on Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and other geeky pursuits, Saturdays will be for more academic topics. This first Summer School episode is all about Mathematics.
As always, we’ll have three rounds of ten questions each. Each round is a hard than the last. If you’re looking for ways to score your game, point your browser at dorkygeekynerdy.com/rules. If you’re a teacher and want to use this in your classroom, these rules and the score sheets on that page will be a huge help.
OK class, settle down. It’s time to begin.
The Dorky Round
3. This field of study, focusing on relationship between angles and side lengths of right triangles, can be taught almost in its entirety in High School.
9. In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow says 'The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.' Which famous theorem did he get wrong in this quote?
The Geeky Round
2. Which field of math is named for a mispronunciation of an arabic phrase meaning 'reunion of broken parts'?
7. This term is used to describe a detailed study of real numbers, often being used to justify calculus.
8. What number is denoted by a lowercase j in electrical engineering and a lowercase 'i' in virtually every other context?
9. What function created by physicist Paul Dirac accidentally spawned the theory and study of distributions?
10. Which branch of math deals exclusively with terms of a single variable with exponent 1 or constants?
The Nerdy Round
1. A number series where each number is equal to the sum of the two previous numbers is called what?
4. Who was the most prolific mathematician in history, publishing over 50 papers per year when the average mathematician published 5?
5. Which mathematician's 'Thirteen Books of the Elements' birthed the modern approach to mathematics?
6. Which function involving partial differential equations allows us to extend the definition of the factorial to fractions and negative numbers?
9. What critical component of Newton's formulation of calculus was not formally verified until Abraham Robinson published 'Non-Standard Analysis' in 1966?
10. What mathematical object, similar to but different from a matrix, is needed to define the topology of a non-Euclidean space?
That’s the bell class. When you add up your points, be sure to show your work. Don’t forget to study for next week. By the way, here’s a hint for next week’s class:
I hope you enjoyed this new adventure in trivia podcasting. It does mean twice as many episodes per week (which several people have requested). We’ll see how well I manage the new load.
A huge shout out to Blaine Dowler who wrote nearly all of the questions for this episode. He hosts a variety of very geeky podcasts over at Bureau42.com. I’ll drop a link on the show notes for this episode. They are worth a listen. He goes into some insane depth on topics like mathematics, the X-Files, and much more.
So to sum up, I’m your host, Brian Rollins. Thanks for listening.
Copyright 2019-2022 by Brian Rollins
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