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Published 11 November 2006

Unité de Recherche sur l’Enseignement des Mathématiques

  • Julie De Saedeleer : "Maths au quotidien : l'hôtel infini, voyage dans un paradoxe"

    14 August, by Charlotte BOUCKAERT — Extra-muros
    Julie De Saedeleer a rédigé l'article Maths au quotidien : l'hôtel infini, voyage dans un paradoxe publié le 13 août 2020 dans The Conversation. Extrait : « Soyons fous cette année pour les vacances, ouvrons un hôtel infini. Oui, vous avez bien lu, un hôtel hypothétique avec une infinité dénombrable de chambres. Un ensemble infini est dit dénombrable, lorsque ses éléments peuvent être listés sans omission ni répétition dans une suite indexée par les entiers. Dès lors on peut numéroter les chambres : chambre 1, chambre 2, et ce jusqu'à l'infini. Chaque chambre accueille un seul voyageur. Quel serait l'avantage de cet hôtel novateur ? ... » Source :
  • Jacques Tits a 90 ans

    12 August, by Charlotte BOUCKAERT — Les News de Buekenhout
    Jacques Tits est né à Bruxelles le 12 août 1930. Mathématicien brillant et très précoce, il a obtenu le Prix Wolf en 1993, et le Prix Abel en 2008. Nous lui souhaitons un très heureux anniversaire.
  • Article fondateur sur les scutoïdes : "Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia"

    27 May, by Charlotte BOUCKAERT — Scutoïdes
    L'article fondateur à propos des scutoïdes est "Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia" Source :
  • Les démonstrations en famille avec Timothy Gowers au temps du confinement

    26 May, by Charlotte BOUCKAERT — Extra-muros
    Timothy Gowers, médaillé Fields, Professeur à l'Université de Cambridge, bientôt professeur au Collège de France a mis a profit son confinement avec ses enfants. Devenu très actif sur Twitter, il a récemment posté sur Twitter une série de 14 tweets : ?s=20 It is often suggested that one should teach Euclidean geometry in order to introduce children to the notion of proof. Today my children learnt a huge amount about proof in a completely different way when, as an experiment, I tried the "miracle Sudoku" with them. 1/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 In case you've been hiding under a rock recently, this delightfully compelling video can tell you what I'm talking about. 2/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 I had watched the video, which gave me a small advantage : I couldn't remember where anything went, but I had some idea of the style of argument required. Also, @RichardGowers had told me there was another puzzle of a similar kind, so I thought ... 3/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 we could do the first one together and then the second one individually. It's all made much less painful by a website that enables you to solve it online, but also to put in small numbers (e.g. to indicate the options not ruled out for a given number), ... 4/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 or colours (to indicate whatever you want them to indicate). What's great about this is that it allows you to develop arguments that would, if written down, be proofs that were several lines long, without having to hold a lot in your head. Things like, "If I put a 2 ... 5/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 there, then none of those squares can be a 2, which means that there must be a 2 in that row, but that means that there can't be a 2 there, so there must be one there. But that's impossible, so I can't have put in the first 2." What's also great is that it turns ... 6/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 very naturally into a cooperative exercise — it's easy for everyone to spot little arguments that other people haven't yet noticed. So it really felt as though I was collaborating on roughly equal terms with my 12yo son and 9yo daughter. 7/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 The first puzzle can be found here. 8/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 A sign of the success of this, other than the fact that we were all hooked on it for over an hour, is that my children were desperate to do the other one. So we all got set up. And then something else interesting happened. We all got pretty bogged down, in my case ... 9/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 partly because I misunderstood the "check" function. At some point I thought I might have made a mistake, so I pressed "check" and it told me that it didn't look right, so I deleted a lot, before realizing that it was merely telling me I hadn't finished. (But actually ... 10/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 I think I *had* made a mistake.) The interesting thing wasn't that, however. It was that we decided it would be more fun to collaborate again, and, just as is so often the case in serious mathematical research, we were far more efficient as a team than as individuals. 11/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 So they got a remarkable glimpse of what it's actually like to do mathematical research, with the way it can grab you, its dead ends, the getting stuck and unstuck, how tiny progress can unlock the door to much larger progress, how proofs can split up into lemmas, how ... 12/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 you sometimes need to consider several cases, the use of proof by negation, how a problem that initially looks impossible can sometimes be cracked, and the efficiency gains that can come from joint work. Did I mention that we probably spent about three hours on it, all told ? 13/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020 I'd do the same again, and so would they. Here's puzzle 2. 14/ — Timothy Gowers (@wtgowers) May 24, 2020
  • Célébration des femmes en mathématique, 12 mai

    7 May, by Charlotte BOUCKAERT — Extra-muros
    Message de Pierre-Emmanuel Caprace Chères et chers collègues, Depuis 2019, la date du 12 mai, anniversaire de la naissance de Maryam Mirzakhani, a été choisie pour mettre à l'honneur les femmes en mathématiques. Le contexte actuel ne permettant pas d'organiser un événement en présentiel, le collectif "May12" propose à toute personne intéressée de visionner le film "Secrets of the Surface, the mathematical vision of Maryam Mirzakhani", de George Csicsery, consacré à la vie et à l'oeuvre mathématique de cette personnalité éminente. Pour cela, il suffit de remplir le formulaire disponible au lien suivant, jusqu'au 15 mai 2020 : Célébration des femmes en mathématique Très sincèrement, Pierre-Emmanuel Caprace