Monday August 3rd 2015

‘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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Latest Topics

Edging into the spotlight

Edging into the spotlight

“He had been trying to get his colleague Charles Kane to listen to him, but Kane wasn’t having any of [Read More]

Perovskite’s solar promise

Perovskite’s solar promise

In the last few years, the sun-to-power efficiency of perovskites has surged at an unprecedented rate. This material is [Read More]

Where will lighting strike?

Where will lighting strike?

  Michael McQuilken will never forget the day lightning struck his younger brother.   On August 20, 1975, he [Read More]

How we got to Ceres

How we got to Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft recently reached the orbit of Ceres, a dwarf planet and the largest object in the asteroid [Read More]

Science in Hollywood

Science in Hollywood

There’s so much snow in the movie Frozen that the cold white stuff might as well be the star of the animated film. It [Read More]

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