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Math Toys Entertainment Science

Juggling By the Numbers 59

theodp writes "The BBC News' Laura Gray reports on a juggling notation system developed in the 80's called Siteswap (aka Quantum Juggling and Cambridge Notation) and how it has helped jugglers discover and share thousands of new tricks. Frustrated that there was no way to write down juggling moves, mathematician Colin Wright and others helped devised Siteswap, which uses sequences of numbers to encode the number of beats of each throw, which is related to their height and the hand to which the throw is made. 'Siteswap has allowed jugglers to share tricks with each other without having to meet in person or film themselves,' says James Grime, juggling enthusiast and math instructor for Cambridge University. Still unclear on the concept? Spend some time playing around with Paul Klimek's most-excellent Quantum Juggling simulator, and you too can be a Flying Karamazov Brother!"
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Juggling By the Numbers

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  • by The_Dougster ( 308194 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:58AM (#42367385) Homepage

    and it took a long time to be able to do that. Four is a *LOT* harder. I cannot even fathom trying to learn all of these advanced maneuvers.

  • Fascinating (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @07:44AM (#42368267)

    The idea that creating the right language can make such a difference may be dismissed as obvious by the /. audience who are familiar with this effect in programming languages.
    But it shows the power of having someone look at a problem from a new or unusual perspective. In this case a mathematician managed to encompass most of the act of juggling in a simple expression. It must be incredibly satisfying to get an Eureka moment of this magnitude.

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