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The Mathematics Behind xkcd: A Conversation with Randall Munroe

Math Horizons: Let’s start with one of your most complex comics, the map of tic-tac-toe moves.

 

Randall Munroe: I remember that—I have a callus in my hand from making it. I think I drew maybe a fifth or a sixth of the actual chart by hand, and then put that in the computer and mirrored and flipped it, and pieced together the rest of it. It took me something like 12 hours to draw out the fifth of it that I did. There was no way I was doing the rest of it by hand!

 

Read the full article (pdf).

 

The creator of the popular web comic xkcd muses about the merits of pen and paper versus computer coding, tic-tac-toe, and where he sits on the scale of intellectual purity.

 

By Laura Taalman

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Taken on September 21, 2012