Thursday April 24th 2014

Posts Tagged ‘math’

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]

Patents for software?

Patents for software?

  AT SOME point in their career every mathematician comes up against the question, is mathematics invented or discovered? The query makes some cranky. The answer doesn’t directly affect their work, after all, and the discussion often leads nowhere useful. [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]

Wallpaper for a Hyperbolic World

Wallpaper for a Hyperbolic World

Frank Farris is a mathematician who has some wild ideas about wallpapering your hyperbolic house. I wrote about him for New Scientist. If you subscribe to the magazine, you can read the story here. I hope to post a pdf of the story soon; in the meantime, feel free to email [Read More]

Latest Topics

Burning to learn

Burning to learn

  In central California’s Yosemite National Park, it doesn’t take much to set the forest on fire. A discarded [Read More]

Paging Dr. Data

Paging Dr. Data

For doctors who treat trauma patients, prediction is key: Will a patient die in the next 30 minutes? Why or why not? [Read More]

Numbers and verse

Numbers and verse

  The universe is a grand book, Galileo noted in 1623, written in the language of mathematics. Those poor souls [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 [Read More]

Northern Hibernaculum

Northern Hibernaculum

  For years, biologist Susi von Oettingen at the US Fish and Wildlife Service tracked the devastation in New [Read More]

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