Aliens and logical fallacy

This article reminds me of a problem on our quiz in Math 107 on logical fallacy. 

Here is another one if you are in the mood of finding logical fallacies. It is a true conversation I had with my husband Alan. 

Our tap has two settings and one of them has a particularly high pitch when the water is running. I didn’t like the high pitch noise and was in the mood of teasing Alan, so I said:” I don’t like that high pitch noise, but dolphins are fine with it. You are fine with it too, so you are a dolphin!”

Of course, Alan is not a dolphin. Can you point out the logical fallacy in the argument? 

Here is another logical fallacy called the Paradox of ravens. It certainly sounds funny at first glance. Try to resolve it? 

Happy Pi Day!!

Today is the \pi-day, and here are some cool things to check out:

Interview with Terence Tao from Numberphile.

If you like to estimate \pi yourself with the Monte Carlo method, this is a fun video to check out. Try to write a code and see how fast you get 100 digits of \pi.

Oh finally, eat some pie for sure.

Update: Just heard you can also compute \pi with coprime numbers. Here is a video.

Convert a new problem into an old one

What do you do when you see a new problem? Try to convert it into an old one. Here is an example:


One day a mathematician decides that he is sick of math and wants to be a fireman. So, the mathematician walks down to the fire department and announces that he wants to become a fireman.
The fire chief says, “Well, you look like a good guy. I’d be glad to hire you, but first I have to give you a little test.”
The fire chief takes the mathematician to the alley behind the fire department which contains a dumpster, a spicket, and a hose. The chief then says, “OK, you’re walking in the alley and you see the dumpster here is on fire. What do you do?” The mathematician replies, “Well, I hook up the hose to the spicket, turn the water on, and put out the fire.”

The chief says, “That’s great… perfect. Now I have to ask you just one more question. What do you do if you’re walking down the alley and you see the dumpster is not on fire?” The mathematician puzzles over the question for awhile and the finally says, “I light the dumpster on fire.” The chief yells, “What? That’s horrible! Why would you light the dumpster on fire?” The mathematician replies, “Well, that way I reduce the problem to one I’ve already solved.”