I posted recently about Christmas math, but in digging around it turns out that there is more out there than I’d realized (and I also found a Hanukkah Math Song, so check back Dec 21, 2008!). Here are some more Christmas math tidbits, including one from the TV series *Futurama*:

- There’s the Christmas Stocking Theorem (also called the hockey puck theorem) which references a pattern in Pascal’s Triangle.
- Apparently there’s a whole slew of items you can buy that say for the mathematicians in your life. Or you could just ask them “What’s purple, round, and doesn’t get much for Christmas?”*
- The blog
*Let’s play math!*has a post on Christmas math puzzles and activities with interesting links geared towards younger mathematicians. - And finally, in Season 2 of Futurama, Bender gets a card which reads MERRY XMAS SON #1729 (see screen shot here). The number 1729 was made famous by a story that G. H. Hardy told about Srinivasa Ramanujan in his book
*Ramanujan*(published in 1940):

I remember once going to see him when he was lying ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. “No,” he replied, “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

(1729 can be written as or as .)

As an aside, in the recent movie *Bender’s Big Score* the number on the taxicab is 87539319, which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in **three **different ways: or (Check out The Geekiest Show on TV from *Wired Magazine*.)

Enjoy!

* A finitely presented grape.

Tags: christmas math, futurama, Humor

March 26, 2008 at 10:00 pm |

[…] [Edited to add: The math blog 360 posts some more advanced Christmas fun here and here.] […]