08 Mar

Sea of Blue (Tiles)

The facade of the Hall of State at Dallas Fair Park is awash in small blue tiles. As such, it provides an excellent opportunity for a fun element of almost any math walk: A Really Big Number. In this case, how many tiles are there on the facade? To get a handle on this, we […]

07 Mar

Isosceles Esplanade

Perhaps your stroll around Dallas Fair Park brings you to the Esplanade, a stately reflecting pool between Centennial Hall and the Automotive Building. The designers of the Esplanade for the 1936 World’s Fair had a difficulty, however: one end of the Esplanade is five to ten feet higher than the other, and of course water […]

07 Mar

The Big Wheel

Texas Star Ferris Wheel

It’s hard to escape noticing the Texas Star Ferris Wheel towering over the landscape at the Dallas Fair park: After all, it’s the largest Ferris wheel in the United States. As you’re watching it turn, there are lots of things you might wonder about, but if you’re like me, one of the first that comes […]

02 Jun

Bishop Boulevard

As you’re taking a stroll down Bishop Boulevard on the campus of Southern Methodist University, stop a moment to enjoy the stately trees that line the avenue. There are many different aspects of trees that one can look at from a mathematical persepctive, but we’re going to take a look at how the tree branches, […]

02 Jun

Habito Labyrinth

Nestled in a courtyard of the Divinity School at Southern Methodist University, you will find the Habito Labyrinth. Labyrinths are actually in themselves a subject of study and interest to professional mathematicians, but before we get into that, let’s first ask whether a labyrinth is a maze. That’s of course a matter of terminology, but […]

02 Jun

Ford Stadium

During the math tour I gave on the campus of Southern Methodist University, I was given the challenge of estimating the seating capacity of the Ford Stadium, never having seen it before and without any prior information about the stadium. To recap the techniques that I used, I first broke down the seating sections into […]