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Math Horizons Contents—February 2018

Math Horizons February 2018 Cover

A classic problem in recreational mathematics: the knight's tour. Can we traverse an entire chess board with a knight, starting and ending at any given squares of different colors? In this issue of Math Horizons, Arthur Benjamin and Sam Miller give a beautiful and elementary algorithm that solves this problem on a standard 8-by-8 board.

We also look at a variety of real-world applications of mathematics. Meredith Greer and Ella Livesay use differential equations to model recent outbreaks of the flu and mumps on their college campus. Amanda Francis and Eric Sullivan show the power of data analysis. They apply a variety of techniques to investigate Airbnb rentals in Seattle. We also have a pair of articles about elections and voting: Sophia Merow describes how Walter Mebane Jr. used statistics to test for voter fraud in the Kenyan presidential election, and Jim Wiseman writes about a new impossibility theorem for drawing congressional districts.

Enjoy these articles and more in the February issue of Math Horizons. —David Richeson, Editor

Volume 25, Issue 3


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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.


Mathematical Potpourri

p. 2.
Sid Kolpas and Stu Ockman present a math-themed crossword puzzle.
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424454

Albrecht Dürer’s Celestial Geometry

p. 5.
Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer designed a specialty compass for astronomical drawings. Stephen Luecking
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424456

Mathematical Epidemiology Goes to College

p. 8.
Meredith Greer and Ella Livesay use mathematical models to analyze flu and mumps outbreaks on one college campus.
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424457

Download a free PDF.

Numeric Fingerprints of Election Fraud

p. 12.
Walter Mebane Jr. used statistics to detect anomalies in the 2017 Kenyan presidential election. Sophia D. Merow
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424458

Exploring Real Data A Look at Airbnb

p. 14.
Make and test conjectures about Airbnb rentals using freely available data. Amanda Francis and Eric Sullivan
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424459

Challenging Knight’s Tours

p. 18.
A knight can fully traverse a chessboard from any starting square to any ending square of opposite color. Arthur T. Benjamin and Sam K. Miller
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424460

Searching for Categories: A Conversation with Eugenia Cheng

p. 22.
Lauren Heller, Karen Lange, and Bridget Schreiner speak with Eugenia Cheng, author, and scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424462


Make PVC Polyhedra

p. 25.
Make Platonic solids out of items from a home improvement store. David Glickenstein
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424463


p. 28.
Darren Glass reviews Unsolved! The History and Mystery of the World’s Greatest Ciphers from Ancient Egypt to Online Secret Societies, by Craig Bauer; Beth Skubak Wolf reviews Significant Figures: The Lives and Work of Great Mathematicians, by Ian Stewart.
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424464
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424465


p. 30.
The Math Horizons problem section, edited by Gary Gordon
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424466


Impossible Redistricting

p. 34.
In some situations, it is impossible to draw fair congressional districts. Jim Wiseman
DOI: 10.1080/10724117.2018.1424468

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