We found a remake from our project Make your own 1952 Fraction-of-an-inch Adding Machine on display at Xerocraft, a hackerspace in Tucson. They cut and engraved the calculator out of hardboard using their laser cutter. It’s sturdier than papercraft and it looks great!

# Category Archives: Mathematics

# Computationally Fabulous Scarves

Our friend fbz just launched a kickstarter campaign to create algorithmically generated scarves, each one provably unique.

KnitYak scarves ship with the specific code and generating key used to make the pattern on your scarf. There is something powerful about knowing the mathematics and code behind the pattern you are wearing.

She’ll be getting an industrial knitting machine for her company KnitYak to automate the process of manufacturing these individualized creations.

# Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2015 edition

For each of the last two years, we’ve released sets of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, and the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards. This year, we’re releasing six new cards, bringing the collection up to a total of 18 cards. This year’s new cards feature love, hearts, and arrows (but no bows or cupids):

*For when your love is complex, but not whatsoever imaginary.*

For that moment when you want to express that not only is the first derivative of your love positive, but *so is the second*.

(Just in case there was a danger of none of these being sufficiently cheesy.)

Not sure how we missed this one in last year’s set of symbols. Alternate caption: “You light up my life.”

*And what better way to say “I love you,” than with the gift of a math problem?*

You can download the full set here, which includes all 18 designs from the three years (a 765 kB .PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.

# Digi-Comp II replica in Terraria

YouTube user Richard Lewis built a working replica of the Digi-Comp II mechanical computer in the sandbox video game Terraria.

The replica makes extensive use of the so-called “Hoik glitch” in the game, that allows for rapid, controlled player movement, much like gravity guides the balls downward in the original.

More information about the version in Terraria is posted on the video page.

# From the mailbag: Fraction of an Inch Adding Machine

Thanks so much for the 2007 article on Make your own 1952 Fraction-of-an-inch Adding Machine. I inherited one of these and was delighted to find information about it on your web site. Now that I have explored your web site a bit, I am adding it to my favorites!

# The Power of the Digi-Comp II

Last fall, we built an oversized Digi-Comp II for MIT, which we’ll be posting about in the near future. Today, MIT computer science professor Scott Aaronson published a short “paperlet” about the computational capabilities of the Digi-Comp II on his blog, Shtetl-Optimized:

…it’s amazing that such a simple contraption of balls and toggles could already take us over the threshold of universality. Universality would immediately explain

whythe Digi-Comp is capable of multiplication, division, sorting, and so on. If, on the other hand, we don’t have universality, that too is extremely interesting—for we’d then face the challenge of explaining how the Digi-Comp can do so many thingswithoutbeing universal.

# STREAM

Over at RasterWeb, Pete writes:

I love the Evil Mad Scientist STEAM T-shirt but I thought there was something missing, so I changed it to STREAM because…

Robots.Remember to stream big, my friends!

# Pi Day is Here

Or, if you prefer, we’re halfway (well, 44% of the way) to Tau day, 6/28. A fine day to watch the Vi Hart‘s Anti-Pi Rant. And, a fine day to round up some of our finest Pi, Pie, and mathematics projects:

Pi blanket for Pi Day, and the Apple Apple Pie!

Sierpinski triangles out of polymer clay, and fractal cookies.

Fractal snowflake cupcakes, Fabric Klein bottle

Vector Snowflake generator application, and Symmetrisketch— for exploring other symmetries.

# Pi Egg for Pi Day

# Sconic Sections in the Wild

Our friend John made Sconic Sections for a dinner party, with a slight variation: he baked the scone dough in ice cream cones. That led to a little bit of extra difficulty in slicing them, but the cone also provided an outline for the ellipses, hyperbolas and parabolas.