Sunday July 24th 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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Brave New Jupiter

Brave New Jupiter

For the last five years, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been barrelling towards its final destination: Jupiter, king of [Read More]

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

Inside the lost cave world of the Amazon’s tepui mountains

They are vast towers rising out of the jungles of the Amazon basin. Tepuis, rocky tabletop mountains isolated by [Read More]

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

It was billed as the vindication of the quantum computer. Late last year, researchers at Google announced that a [Read More]

All about quantum dots

All about quantum dots

In September 2015, Philips, an electronics company based in The Netherlands, unveiled a computer monitor that achieved [Read More]

Zombie physics

Zombie physics

For Alex Alemi and Matt Bierbaum, physics graduate students at Cornell University in the US, there really was no [Read More]

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