Being Digital

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Notes I prepared (quickly) when I guest-taught in Jason Zimba's Rediscovering Math course. I decided to tell personal stories of when I discovered math; when something mathematical struck me like lightning, opening a new way of looking at the world. Most of these still influence my thinking today, even though several of them occurred when I was a teenager or younger.

I prepared these stories and then wrote their titles on 3x5 cards. I had the class draw them at random. I only had time to tell five. The rest will have to wait for another time.

Math Stories

  • Beaker and Photoshopping music
    • DSP Quattro, Photoshop
  • Fractal-ignorant math teachers
    • Board drawing
  • Codes
    • Encoding names
  • Mathematica and Beethoven
    • Samples, board
  • The power of two
    • 21 questions
  • Little 12 Toes
    • video
  • Half-adders
    • Board
  • Discovering gravity
    • demo program?
  • 3 boys, 1 girl
    • Aha!


  • half-adder schematic
  • feel good samples
  • feel good number
  • Story pieces of paper

  • logic, not numbers
  • logic gates
  • binary ordering
  • half-adder
  • numbers, sampling

header 124 bytes, 4416 x 4416

  • codes
  • coding feelgood into a real number / names
    • tree nature of resulting numbers
  • bases
  • 21 questions