Click and maybe the image gets bigger.
So like here is the deal. According to this expert on Rene Descartes, Descartes said it was impossible to solve the above PizzaQ. So you're screwed, no Spongebob pizza slice for you.
Are you smarter than Rene Descartes? Ya think?
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Dear D***** S****,
Circumstances always conspire to prevent me from getting to your wonderful Spinoza events, but I thought your bunch might like a bit of notice about this very interesting and related talk. Who knows who might be wandering around western Massachusetts to take advantage of it?
And I must brag that this is a spectacularly beautiful picture-postcard mountains-and-forest corner of New England, gorgeous in every season.
I've been to several of Amherst College's open-to-all math talks, and they're all spectacular. Morever they're all aimed at a non-specialist audience that needs only the virtues of intelligence and curiosity. Every attendee is guaranteed to exit understanding considerably more about the topic, however arcane, than he knew going in. And this one promises to be heavy on the historical background -- intimately near Spinoza.
As for Descartes' conclusion, I learned how to calculate the length of a curve in 2nd semester calculus, so I guess that's proof that I'm smarter than Descartes.
Amherst, Massachusetts USA
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
[please put 2 horizontal dots over his O, they never come out right in my e-mail]
Descartes and the Problem
of the Length of a Curve
In the Geometry (1637) Descartes said that it is not possible to determine the length of a curve in the following sense:
"... the ratios between straight and curved lines are not known, and I believe cannot be discovered by human minds, and therefore no conclusion based upon such ratios can be accepted ..."
I will discuss why Descartes may have thought so, which will lead us into many other interesting questions in the history and philosophy of mathematics.
Wednesday 5 December 2007
4 pm Seeley Mudd 206
Refreshments in Seeley Mudd 208 at 3:30 pm
[last time the refreshments were ... PIZZA!]
Labels: Rene Descartes Spongebob Squarepants Anders Oberg length of curve analytical geometry Benedict Spinoza Amherst College Uppsala University