Pascal’s Triangle Before Blaise Pascal

Wednesday in class we saw some of the tricks of Pascal’s Triangle such as the exponents of 11, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Sierpinski Triangle. In reading more about it on I came across the Chinese version that showed up more than 300 years before Pascal’s did. This version is known as Yang Hui’s Triangle. This blog post describes more about how it came about, but I found it really interesting that it showed up so many years earlier.

In a way it reminds me of Dr. Plante’s story about the tile work in Europe that he didn’t write about and publish before someone else did. The Chinese had it figured out first, but so many people today only know about Pascal’s work.


Mobius Strip: Magic?

This week in class we played around with the mobius strip and found out that it will continue to remain a mobius strip until you cut it. It then will revert back to a cylinder. The video below shows what we did in class as well as a few more cutting techniques. I found it very interesting both in class and while watching this video that it does not matter how you cut the paper, the end result is a cylinder. Once a single cut is introduced, a mobius strip can never be formed again.

Math in Copying Ancient Texts

When we were listing topics last week in class I had around ten different topics written down. Slowly but surely, I crossed each off for not being interesting enough, that is except for copying ancient texts.

In high school I learned a little bit about how ancient texts were copied, and it fascinated me. The detail and care that the scribes put into their work was beyond dedicated.

Right now I have no idea how I’m going to fit the math aspect in, but I am thinking about calculating the percentage of error. Any thoughts about how math could relate?

Origami and Its Impact On Surgery

One of the things that really stood out to me during the video we watched on Wednesday was how origami is being used in the medical field to produce different medicines. As I was researching more about that I came across the video below that talks about robotic surgery. One of the ways medical professionals are able continue advancing minimally invasive surgery is by using techniques used in origami in their devices. The more techniques used, the smaller the device can be, and ultimately, the less invasive the surgery can be.

As someone who knows people who can’t undergo major surgery, knowing that there are techniques being used to help make some surgeries that used to be considered major now minimally invasive gives me hope for our future and where this trend will take us.

Platonic Solids in a Lightbulb

When we were first given our topic for this week’s blog, I had no idea where on earth I could find a platonic solid in real life, then I saw it. A lightbulb. If you look closely at the picture below of the back of the lightbulb that used to shine in my backyard, it is full of triangles that create a convex surface.

While, it may not be the best example of a platonic solid, I feel as though it represents one well. Once I flipped it to the actual light, however (as seen below), it is full of hexagons that create a flat surface, therefore, it would not be a platonic solid.

If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them!

Rosettes in Medicine

While rosettes can be found all around us, one place that they have been more recently discovered is in the¬†Leishmania parasite. This parasite is spread by sand flies’ bite and causes skin sores or organ trouble depending on what type the infected person has.

According to the authors of this article by forming in a rosette, the parasite is demonstrating a stage of life. This means that a cure, prevention, or treatment could have a better chance at working with this knowledge.

I knew that rosettes were often found in plants, but I never expected to see them in a disease.