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Math Horizons Contents—February 2016

Circles—the geometric shape that keeps giving! This issue of Math Horizons features several circle-related articles. In our cover story, Christopher Ennis proves that a random process of placing circles in a circular frame will never terminate. We also turn our gaze to our circular holiday, Pi Day. Nicholas Fiori and Luke Anderson engage in a spirited debate over whether Pi Day is a silly celebration that we should retire or whether it inspires future mathematics students. Cornelia Van Cott shows that we can celebrate the Pi Day of the Century every year, as long as we're willing to change our metric. Read Katherine Merow's conversation with University of Chicago mathematician Amie Wilkinson, George Hart's instructions to build a mathematical sculpture out of playing cards, Andrew Simoson's mathematical investigation of Utopia on its 500th birthday, and more in this issue of Math Horizons.David Richeson, editor


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Such supplemental information as solutions for contests, contest winners, editorials, and other reader responses to Math Horizons articles is available here.


(Always) Room for One More

Christopher Ennis

Flow Free on a Torus

Brian Kronenthal and Wing Hong Tony Wong

All You Need to Be a Mathematician

Katharine Merow

Run, Hero, Run!

Mike Naylor

Radical Dash

Alexandra Branscombe

Pi Day, Pro and Con

Nicholas Fiori and Luke Anderson

Minimizing Utopia

Andrew Simoson



George Hart

A Pi Day of the Century Every Year

Cornelia A. Van Cott (pdf)


Matt Davis reviews The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why, by Arthur Benjamin; Jeb Collins reviews Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, by Siobhan Roberts.


The Math Horizons problem section, edited by Gary Gordon

The Law of the Broken Futon

Ben Orlin