Thursday September 29th 2016

‘Math stories’ Archives

Zombie physics

Zombie physics

For Alex Alemi and Matt Bierbaum, physics graduate students at Cornell University in the US, there really was no escaping the zombies – those fictional reanimated human corpses that feast on the living. In autumn 2011 they were required to complete a project for a class [Read More]

The Whole Universe Catalog

The Whole Universe Catalog

A seemingly endless variety of food was sprawled over several tables at the home of Judith L. Baxter and her husband, mathematician Stephen D. Smith, in Oak Park, Ill., on a cool Friday evening in September 2011. Canapés, homemade meatballs, cheese plates and grilled [Read More]

Charting the history of western art with math

Charting the history of western art with math

  For more than a century, researchers have used statistics to study writing style in a sort of literary forensics technique called stylometry. In 1901, physicist T. C. Mendenhall famously measured word-length frequency in William Shakespeare’s works and reported [Read More]

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]

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The Endgame of Ruby Knuckles

The Endgame of Ruby Knuckles

The Endgame of Ruby Knuckles Published in 2011 in Arcadia That Sunday morning, I was not full of the Holy Ghost. I [Read More]

What medicine can learn from squid teeth

What medicine can learn from squid teeth

Many types of squid have razor-sharp teeth. They just are not where you’d expect to find them. Each of the [Read More]

The value of a good science hack

The value of a good science hack

Physicist Matt Bellis attended his first Science Hack Day in the fall of 2010, in Palo Alto, California. Like many [Read More]

Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past

The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, is the oldest photography museum in the world. The Victorian mansion [Read More]

Let the structural symphony begin

Let the structural symphony begin

Like other structural biologists, Eva Nogales works in extraordinary times. The University of California, Berkeley, [Read More]

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