ATM PIN Theft and the Mathematics of Systematic Guessing

The video below describes how an infrared device on iPhones can be used to steal Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) on ATM cards and credit cards. It is important that you watch this video because it also contains instructions on how to prevent theft.

What I am going to discuss post is how mathematics will be used on guessing the PINs systematically. This is not to encourage stealing, but to inform everyone that it can be done — so be careful.  In addition, there are machines nowadays that could copy cards, so once your card has been copied without you knowing it, the thief can have all the time in the world to guess your PIN. Please watch the video before continuing reading.  » Read more

The MATHCOUNTS Math Video Challenge

I have learned recently from one of the comments in my blog that the MathCounts is conducting a math video-making competition. The name of the contest is the Math Video Challenge where students choose a problem to be solved and create a video about it. The video can be submitted MathCounts.

The finalists, according to the MathCounts website, will present their videos in the 2014 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition. The winner will receive a scholarship.

The MathCounts Math Video challenge is currently on its third year.

For those who are interested to join, you can check out the Quick Start Guide or visit the MathCounts Video Challenge page.

A Short Tutorial on How to Use An Abacus

Before computers, there were abaci (plural of abacus). They were used as a calculation tool for hundreds of years. They were popular to the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.


However, history tells us that there were way earlier versions of the modern abaci we know. According to Wikipedia, they existed in Sumeria as early as 2700 BC. » Read more

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