Sunday, March 4, 2007

Bias in the classroom, part ii: the nature of the Monkeygon

Hofstadter walks into the euclidean geometry seminar for a new session:

"In today's session we will study the nature of the monkeygon. The monkeygon is a special polygon holding the property that it looks like a monkey. We will study many properties and functions related to the monkeygon, such as

  • the mini-monkeygon: the monkeygon with the smallest number of line segments
  • c(X), the maximum number of non-overlapping circles that can fit inside a monkeygon X
  • the perfect-monkeygon: the monkeygon X with smallest c(X) among all possible monkeygons
with those basic concepts properly established, we will then be able to move on to more advanced topics, such as the monkeyplex or monkeyhedra".
After an hour's study of the monkeygon, Hofstadter pulls out the rabbit from the hat, and everything starts to make sense.

Can you guess what this session is all about?

3 comments:

Ponder Stibbons said...

Defining polygons, I suppose. But I confess I don't quite see the point of starting with monkeygons...

Anna said...

My guess is that it has something to do with bias in the classroom (the title post), maybe he wants to show that is possible to easily convince others that the monkeygon will be the same for everyone in every context.

Anna said...

My guess is that it has something to do with bias in the classroom (the title post), maybe he wants to show that is easy to convince others that the monkeygon will be the same for everyone in every context.