Math Tricks, Milestones, Murderous Maths, Simon teaching, Simon's sketch book

The Math Behind 2048

Simon shares his strategy to win a 2048 game. He has also worked out a general formula of what a maximum tile can be in any grid. For a 4 x 4 grid classic 2048 grid that maximum is 2^17 or 131072!

“It’s a lovely coincidence that there are 17 particles known in the Standard Model of particle physics, and 2^17 is also the maximum value tile in 2048. And so LHC 2048 actually exists!” Simon shouted after we had finished filming. Ten minutes later, walking outside, he calculated that when playing simplest version of 2048, the game of 4 on a 2 x 2 grid, the probability of winning (getting 4) is 19% if you do nothing, 54% if you make one move and 27 % if you make two moves. He also proved that in the game of 4, you win with the maximum of two moves.

2048 offers a lot of opportunities for math fun!

Experiments, Physics, Simon teaching, Together with sis

Physics Experiments: Will the wooden block fall?

This is almost a magic trick that Simon borrowed from the Actionlab channel. Will the wooden block fall down on the ground once you let it go? Obviously, it will. And what if you tie a string to it, tie a ping-pong ball to the opposite end of the string and hang the string on a pencil? The block is much heavier than the ping-pong ball, so it should still fall down on the ground, right? And what if instead of a pencil, you use a rubber rod/ rubber-coated pen?

Simon later recreated the experiment using the Algodoo software, and it was even more fun to try to balance the weights:


Milestones, Murderous Maths, Simon teaching, Simon's sketch book

Simon’s findings about the relationship between the exponent and the factor of a number

Simon explains why the proof that root 4 is irrational is false and shows a couple more related theorems (he came up with) generalizing the relationship between the exponent and the factor of a number.

Simon’s generalisation: 
if a^n/m
then a^n/m^n