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ALEX BELLOS

A historic mathematician.
TIMELINE

Pictures of Alex.
Born 1969
At age twelve his By the time Oxford
family moved he learnt to
to Southampton count he
Five years later, he was living
was in Oxford in Edinburgh
university reading
mathematics and
philosophy.
Guardians Alex’s
South America Adventures in Alex Through the
correspondent Numberland Looking-Glass in
in Rio de was published 2014.
Janeiro. in 2010

In an
undefined
date he got
married and
had children
SOME AWARDS

2010 BBC Samuel 2011 Royal


Johnson Prize for Society Winton
Non-Fiction, Prize for
shortlist, Alex's 2010 Amazon. Science Books,
Adventures com, Best shortlist, Alex's
in Numberland Books of 2010: Adventures
Science, Here's in Numberland
Looking at
Euclid
BENFORD'S LAW First Digit Probability
Benford’s Distribution Graph

1 0.301
2 0.176
3 0.125
4 0.097
5 0.079
6 0.067
7 0.058
8 0.051
9 0.046
4TH OF DECEMBER MONDAY PUZZLE
Five cars are driving round a roundabout. In order, the drivers are Akira, Basho, Chie, Daichi and Etsu.
The cars have licence plates numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, but not necessarily in that order. Each
driver can see only the licence plate of the car in front of them and the car behind them, but not
of the car they are driving. All the drivers can speak to and hear each other via headphones.
A voice comes into their headphones and asks: “Is your licence plate a square number?”
They all reply in unison: “I don’t know”
The voice repeats: “Is your licence plate a square number?”
They reply in unison “I don’t know!” except Etsu, who pipes up saying: “Erm, no”.
The voice asks: “Is your licence plate number bigger than the number of the plate behind you?”
Daichi is getting annoyed now: “I don’t know!”.
After which Basho and Etsu state: “No”
And Akira and Chie grin: “Yes”
Who is in which car?
1 7 13 19 25 31 37 43 49 55 61 67 73 79 85 91 97

2 8 14 20 26 32 38 44 50 56 62 68 74 80 86 92 98

3 9 15 21 27 33 39 45 51 57 63 69 75 81 87 93 99

4 10 16 22 28 34 40 46 52 58 64 70 76 82 88 94 100

5 11 17 23 29 35 41 47 53 59 65 71 77 83 89 95 101

6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 78 84 90 96 102

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