Instructables
Picture of fuzzy math
fuzzymath.jpg
Do you tend to avoid anything that involves math? Are you calclueless? Don't you hate how they call it "the calculus" like it's all high falutin and more important than the other math subjects?

The basic problem is, math has a bad rep. Math was like mental gymnastics class, some people excelled at it and the rest of us just got through it with much moaning because we had to.

That's because they never told you about cuddly math.

I had this idea back in college one day when the professor mentioned how most people have an irrational fear of the integral symbol. I thought, wouldn't it be cool if there was a cuddly stuffed integral symbol that you could pass around the classroom and let everybody play with it and maybe get over that weird fear. Here it is at last.
 
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Step 1: Stuff you need

Picture of stuff you need
an old pillow

some soft fabric. I used a cheap blanket I found in the Ikea as-is department. It is called the "Polarvide" which was $2.00.

Sewing machine

Step 2: Print out a poster-sized math symbol with your printer

Picture of print out a poster-sized math symbol with your printer
integration.jpg
sigman.jpg
I used Paint Shop pro to enlarge a screen shot of some of the major math symbols until they were between 18" and 30" high.

Then I used the poster setting on the printer to print them out 2x2 for pi and 4x4 for the integration symbol.

After it's printed out, sketch a half inch margin all around the whole thing, that will give you room to sew it.
snotty4 years ago
Nice. They're quite the sexy nerd toy. :)

Maybe some Velcro or magnets would be nice to stick them together in various ways.

And they would be awesome as bodies for soft circuitry. Plushy graphing calculator anyone?
foobear (author)  snotty4 years ago
ooh, I like it when you talk brilliant to me. 
luvit4 years ago
 i see things. is my mind dirty?
xxCSG4 years ago
hahaha! this is BRILLIANT!
hydrnium.h25 years ago
Someone should make an instructable on fuzzy logic.
Do you mean the logical concept "fuzzy logic" or a bunch of fluffy stuffed AND, OR, and NOT gates?

Either way, I'm all for it ;).
Brilliant!  I'm oh so very tempted.
nax4 years ago
I have an irrational fear of i .
Don't worry, It's not real.
foobear (author)  nax4 years ago
har!
Ecchin5 years ago
Oh.... My dirty mind was seeing some weird shapes in that pillow. But then i realised they were not there, but only in my head. :rolleyes: Cool calc pillows!
Yes, but what does it say / mean? I'm mathematically challenged beyond BODMAS,
In the last frame, what appears to be a tall elongated s is the FUNCTION sign (example: place that symbol here f(x) dx means a function whose derivatitve is f).

You know the Pi symbol I assume, and then the one that appears to be a capital M on it's side means sumation: sum over … from … to … of
I was not aware that the elongated s stood for function. I thought it was just a long s to represent the limit of sums as the change in x (or whatever your variable is) approaches 0... can you explain how it's the function sign?
indefinite integral or antiderivative or indefinite integral of the antiderivative of or definite integral or integral from … to … of … with respect to calculus. It is sometimes written straight up and down, and sometimes the top leans to the right.
Or if you're still non the wiser:
the sideays M is called sigma and it means you add together the set of things that come after it.
the long s is an integration sign and it also means adding, but it's for things you can't easily add because they're all stuck together. it's useful for seeing how much room there is under a line or for seeing how far an imaginary truck would go
Patholos4 years ago
Argh.. My irrational fear of the integral kicks in. Btw good job on the props :)
owlsquest5 years ago
This is an awesome idea for my science students. Molecular models help with understanding bonding, so not much of a stretch to relating it to Ionic/Molecular, Acid/Base, Equilibrium...... Off to my drawing board!
foobear (author)  owlsquest5 years ago
cool! plushy molecules!
BJMN5 years ago
You didn't go to U of M in Winnipeg, did you? We also had a calc prof who talked about people's irrational fear of the integral symbol...
foobear (author)  BJMN5 years ago
No, I went to UCSD. I think the fear of the integral symbol is universal.
OzWoden foobear5 years ago
I don't think so. At least I've never heard of it here in Australia.
sonaps5 years ago
I've never heard it referred to as "the calculus", only as "calculus", but it's still a total pain and though I'm profficient at it I still try to avoid it.
naught1015 years ago
Have you tried using a bolder font? The characters would be more physically robust, would hold their shape better. Also, it would probably be more cuddly - more cushion to squeeze :)
foobear (author)  naught1015 years ago
yes that's a good idea!
I sooooo wanna make that Pi symbol. I memorized more pi then our teacher, cause he had a pi symbol on the wall. He was going to throw it a away, so I took it and hung it up on my wall. Only 6th grader to memorise over 30 numbers of pi.
foobear (author)  wolf555hound5 years ago
Cool. I don't understand these mysterious numbers like pi and e and their significance. Or prime numbers. Some day the aliens will come and explain it. Also, I've never understood why people memorize so many digits of pi. Maybe it's a 'length' thing. hehe.
Zorink foobear5 years ago
Prepare to have your mind blown:
http://xkcd.com/179/
foobear (author)  Zorink5 years ago
That's just insane. Just conceptually it doesn't really make sense to raise something to a power of i. If you raise something to a power, you multiply itself by itself a certain number of times. But I can't picture how you could multiply something by itself i times.
Zorink foobear5 years ago
I can't really remember why, but it makes a wave function that you can breakdown using differential equations and eventually cos and sin are in the exponent and things drop out then it all works.
e(i*pi)+1=0 is a neat equation too, because it contains 5 of the most useful numbers in math.
sbot5 years ago
AWESOME instructable, j_l_larson! And thanks for the food for thought, zorink!
corvett5 years ago
I love calculus! And we just finished all the basic integral stuff, and are moving on... I love it. This is pretty awesome.
foobear (author)  corvett5 years ago
hehe thanks
bxridley6 years ago
Does not compute! Does not compute! Does not compute!

Math = fear. Math >/ fear.

Warm/fuzzy = Math?

Core dump, imminent.
*&&$@%$@!%#%@!#*&@!%#@!#@!#&%@!&%#@!%#@!#(
*T*&@!@#(@(#(@!#@#(@#(*@#(@#(*@#(*@(@(#(@##
@&@&#!(&#(*&@#(*&@!#(*&@#(&@#(&@!(#&@!(#&@!&#(*&#@!(@!&#
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