Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 34 – e (Euler’s number)

Morning Mathematical Monsters & Maniacs!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)

Hi, I’m Super Safi and you may remember me from such stats and strategy posts as Kwik-E-Mart Farming and the advanced losing-to-win Superheroes battle strategy.

Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing mathematical journey involving fractions, probability, Fermat’s last theorem, and hundreds of other aspects from the wonderful world off mathematics.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing math Monday morning?

This week we look at the constant e, also known as Euler’s number.

In The Fight Before Christmas (Season 22, Episode 08), the Christmas episode is structured similar to the structure of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, only that it is divided in four stories instead of three – Bart’s story, Lisa’s story, Marge’s story, and Maggie’s story.

In Maggie’s story, Maggie has a muppet dream with all our favourite characters appearing as muppet versions of themselves, and joined by Moe’s new girlfriend Katy Perry.

Following in the footsteps of another muppet show, the episode concluded with”

“Tonight’s Simpsons episode was brought to you by the symbol umlaut, and the number e. Not the letter e, but the number, whose exponential function is the derivative of itself.”

e

Scottish mathematician John Napier (1 February 1550 – 4 April 1617) first referenced the constant, which was published posthumously in 1618. However, it was Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) who first used the constant e in a letter to German mathematician Christian Goldbach on November 25th 1731.

Leonhard Euler

The constant e = 2.71828182845904523536028747135266249775724709369995…

There are numerous ways it can be calculated:

It is the unique base for which the constant of proportionality is 1, so that the function’s derivative is itself.

It can be calculated as the sum of an infinite series using our favourite mathematical topic of factorials:

e   =   1 / 0!   +   1 / 1!   +   1 / 2!   +   1 / 3!   +   …

e   =   1 / 1   +   1 / 1   +   1 / (1 x 2)   +   1 / (1 x 2 x 3)   +   …

While a lot more can be said about Euler’s number, I am going to enjoy my vacation and end it here. So in the mean time, why not show your love for math and probability with your own Math Mayhem shirt or hoodie.

If you love math or enjoy reading these posts, don’t forget to stop by the Addicts Shop and check out all the paraphernalia, including the Math Mayhem shirts and hoodies.

Were you familiar with Euler’s number? What’s your favourite constant? Do you recall the episode featuring the constant? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

4 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 34 – e (Euler’s number)”

1. koolviruz

i think the whole alphabet are numbers and symbol of numbers… numbers are everywhere… EVERYWHERE!!!!! 5 fingers, 2 eyes, 4 limbs divided by 2 arms and 2 legs… 1 mouth… around 7-8 orifice… 1 embryo multiplies.. giving birth subtracts 1 and the net result is 2… math… numbers…aaarrhhh!!!

2. Mike

I’m partial to Plank and Boltzmann constants. The gas constant also is useful. And many more. Lots of calculation to support experiments!

3. John Millar

Thanks for that Safi, heavy stuff for the holiday period but it did bring back memories. Didn’t see the episode but love the idea of the Muppet characters.

4. NicoRox13

I must admit, I am a little confused.

The article is brought to us by the letter M, but the article is about e. Then you give us a sales pitch to buy a T?