Patrick Honner

Contributing Columnist

Latest Articles

Math That Connects Where We’re Going to Where We’ve Been

March 22, 2024

Recursion builds bridges between ideas from across different math classes and illustrates the power of creative mathematical thinking.

The Surprisingly Simple Math Behind Puzzling Matchups

January 25, 2024

If Anna beats Benji in a game and Benji beats Carl, will Anna beat Carl?

Pierre de Fermat’s Link to a High School Student’s Prime Math Proof

November 22, 2023

How Fermat’s less famous "little theorem" got mathematicians young and old to play with prime-like Carmichael numbers.

How Simple Math Moves the Needle

September 29, 2023

The spatial intuition behind a three-point turn offers an on-ramp to a century-old geometry problem.

Math That Lets You Think Locally but Act Globally

July 21, 2023

Knowing a little about the local connections on flight maps and other networks can reveal a lot about a system’s global structure.

Math Patterns That Go On Forever but Never Repeat

May 23, 2023

Simple math can help explain the complexities of the newly discovered aperiodic monotile.

The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy

March 24, 2023

Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics.

The Basic Algebra Behind Secret Codes and Space Communication

January 23, 2023

Whether you’re passing secret notes in class or downloading images from a space probe, Reed-Solomon codes offer an ingenious way to embed information and correct for errors.

The Simple Geometry Behind Brownie Bake Offs and Equal Areas

November 21, 2022

Proving that two polygons have the same area can be as easy as cutting them up and rearranging the pieces.

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