Thursday July 24th 2014

‘Math stories’ Archives

Can an Equation be a Poem?

Can an Equation be a Poem?

April is Mathematics Awareness Month. April is alsoNational Poetry Month. Coincidence? Yep, almost definitely. But it’s also an opportunity: I’d like to propose that we—you and I, at least until the end of this blog post—merge the two and celebrate the first-ever [Read More]

Two Guys Dancing about Math

Two Guys Dancing about Math

  A typical performance by dancers Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern begins with a handshake. However, it’s not simple: the two men fail to connect, missing hands and falling past each other, over and over, in a variety of ways. When they do finally grasp hands, they have [Read More]

Foraging flights

Foraging flights

First, he tracked basking sharks—filterfeeding leviathans that look like supersized great whites—in the coastal waters near Great Britain, and then Atlantic cod, leatherback turtles, Magellanic penguins, and bigeye tuna. He’s wrangled and tagged ocean sunfish, blue [Read More]

Descartes’ Decipherer

Descartes’ Decipherer

Erik-Jan Bos, a philosopher at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, unearthed research gold with an Internet search. In putting together a critical edition of René Descartes’ correspondence, due out in 2014, he discovered a stolen, never-before-published letter from [Read More]

Prize awarded for largest mathematical proof

Prize awarded for largest mathematical proof

  The largest proof in mathematics is colossal in every dimension – from the 100-plus people needed to crack it to its 15,000 pages of calculations. Now the man who helped complete a key missing piece of the proof has won a prize. In early November, Michael [Read More]

Turning math into money

Turning math into money

Mathematician Richard Hamilton was named a co-winner of the 2011 Shaw Prize for Mathematical Sciences. The honor comes with a $500K check. Hamilton is best known as the architect of the Ricci flow, a mathematical process that formed the foundation of Grisha Perelman’s [Read More]

Trig Shots

Trig Shots

What’s the hardest straight-in shot in pool? Mathematician tries to find out in this article for New Scientist. This article is behind a paywall and I haven’t yet uploaded a pdf. Email me, and I’ll send you a copy. [Read More]

Million dollar math

Million dollar math

My first feature was a piece about unsolved problems in mathematics, published in Discover in 2006. Read it here. [Read More]

The Perfect Way to Slice a Pizza

The Perfect Way to Slice a Pizza

Unsolved problems make for good stories. In this case, a couple of mathematicians cracked the little-known “Pizza Conjecture,” a rigorous attempt to understand how to share a pie. I wrote the story behind the solution for New Scientist in December 2009. Read it [Read More]

The Proof is in the Blogging

The Proof is in the Blogging

In 2006, shortly after Grigory Perelman famously refused the Fields Medal for his proof of the Poincaré Conjecture, a mathematician from Lehigh University posted online a supposed proof of another unsolved math problem. Within days, mathematicians discovered a fatal flaw [Read More]

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Can an Equation be a Poem?

Can an Equation be a Poem?

April is Mathematics Awareness Month. April is alsoNational Poetry Month. Coincidence? Yep, almost definitely. But [Read More]

Supersized Viruses

Supersized Viruses

On February 22, festival-goers at Melbourne’s dusk-to-dawn White Night celebration lined up in droves outside the [Read More]

Saving endangered ‘tongues’

Saving endangered ‘tongues’

  Ong uyan madongo? You probably don’t know how to answer that question — unless you happen to be one of the [Read More]

Archimedes in the Fence

Archimedes in the Fence

According to ancient historians, Archimedes spent the last moments of his life drawing figures in the dirt, so deeply [Read More]

Mathematics in Metal

Mathematics in Metal

      A mathematical surface known as the Klein bottle is like a mischievous, mathematical cousin of the [Read More]

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