I heart maths

Wolfram | Alpha is a very powerful computational search engine. While Google does feature the ability to do some calculations, Wolfram | Alpha takes this a whole new level including the ability to solve and plot equations.

For example, take this mathematical equation:

Equation

which you must enter into Wolfram | Alpha in this format:

x^2+(y-(x^2)^(1/3))^2 = 1

Wolfram | Alpha plots it like this:

This mathematical formula (x squared plus y minus the cube root of x squared squared equals one) plots the shape of a love heart
x squared plus y minus the cube root of x squared squared equals one

There’s something lovely about maths.

Maths

Okay, so I want to use the Blueprint CSS framework for a website I’m working on.

Page width is worked out with this formula:

Total width = (number_of_columns * column_width) – margin_width

So, I want a page width as close to 950px as possible, but able to divide equally into 7 sections (for the main navigation). By default there are 24 columns, each 40px wide (including a 10px margin).

The answer — after about an hour of tapping keys on my calculator — is a frustratingly simple 910px.

Or 23 columns.

I should have paid more attention in my Certificate of Sixth Year Studies maths class.

I wish maths classes had been more practical. Sure, I can do differential equations until the cows come home … but I’ve no idea when I would actually need to do them!