Saturday, May 05, 2012

Pizza and Panini

This piece is in collaboration with Prof. Krishnan Shankar, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oklahoma. 
The Oracle Asks 
The Sanskrit grammarian Panini is at his friend Socrates’ place in Athens.
Boy. Here is the tea.
Socrates. Thank you.
Panini. The boy, he understands Greek Mathematics, does he not?

Socrates. Yes, indeed; he was born in the house.

Panini. Can you talk to him about mathematics?
Soc. Certainly. Attend now to the questions which I ask him, and observe whether he learns of me or only remembers.


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Must Watch : Ask the Delphic Oracle3

We have the third in the series for our column at the Times of India up. It is a short post with a video at the end. An edited version of the post is below. You don't need to know advanced mathematics to enjoy the video, so go ahead and press play!


Two contestants, one pot of money to win.
A British gameshow called "Golden Balls" invites contestants to play a version of the Prisoner's Dilemma, wherein the two contestants have to decide whether they're going to "split" or "steal" a pot of money.
If they both opt to split, they split the money. If one opts to split, and one opts to steal, the one who steals it gets the whole pot. And if they both opt to steal it, then neither get the money.
Prisoner's Dilemma is a classic game from game theory. What happens next? You've got to watch this.