Say Adam brings a salami and Sally brings a wooden board. That’s one lame sausage fest of a party! But if Molly brings two bottles of wine, Jasper brings three blocks of cheese and Dakota brings five dinner rolls, now you’ve got yourself a little Fibonacci antipasto.
Hilbert Day (Feb. 3)
German mathematician David Hilbert had a bunch of complicated problems—23, to be exact, hence the date—and he wanted somebody else to solve them. Can’t you relate? Give the guy a holiday! Hilbert’s problems helped to shape the direction of mathematical study throughout the 20th century, although there are differing claims about which have been definitively resolved. However, several theorems were developed throughout the last century that satisfactorily address the problems, such as Matiyasevich’s theorem, which combines computability theory and number theory, and the Gelfond-Schneider theorem, which established that any algebraic number other than 0 or 1 squared by an irrational number is a transcendental number.
Hilbert Day should inspire us to search for answers, but to embrace the unknown and ambiguous. To fete Hilbert, celebrants must eat a ripe tomato in recognition of the plant’s dual identity as a fruit (according to botanists) and a vegetable (according to everyone else). Existing in this liminal space reflects the pleasure and pain of doing mathematical proofs.