*, they usually are thinking of people who are "traditionally-built", like Precious Ramotswe, the No.1 Lady Detective in Botswana.*

**curves***(If you don't know her, go to a bookstore or check your video sources. I promise you won't be disappointed.)*

Alternatively, they may have a winding road in mind:

When mathematicians talk about

*, they are referring to lines that can be defined using a math formula.*

**curves**I found a website this weekend - 2D Curves - that shows 874 different types of

*lines, and explains how they are created.*

**curved**People ask me how I can find this strange stuff on the web. Well, in this case I was looking at a new Cartier watch, on which the "Durer's Folium"

*resides. The second hand travels that weird shape in the middle, rather than just spinning around an axis:*

**curve**I had no idea what a "Durer's Folium"

*was, so I went on a quest. Here's an animated illustration of what I found:*

**curve**If you understand French, you can read the MathCurve site where this image originated. They generously gave me permission to reuse this animation. (

*See yesterday's blog.*) If you don't know French math terminology, you can still enjoy the other graphics and animations you'll find there.

When we talk about

*in school, we often mean a "Bell Shaped Curve" which represents a distribution of test scores. The technical name for this*

**curves***is the Probability Density Function. Here's one:*

**curve**Do we teach this in Excel Math? Yes and No. We do teach how to plot lines on a grid, but we don't quite reach the level where students are doing algebraic calculations of curves.

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