Category Archives: Mathematics

New mathematical theory may explain patterns in fingerprints, raisins, and microlenses

As a grape slowly dries and shrivels, its surface creases, ultimately taking on the wrinkled form of a raisin. Similar patterns can be found on the surfaces of other dried materials, as well as in human fingerprints. While these patterns … Continue reading

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Analysis yields better optimization algorithms for engineering problems

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they’re used to evaluate design tradeoffs, to assess control systems, and to find patterns in data. One way to solve a … Continue reading

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Search for the world’s first zero leads to the home of Angkor Wat

The first recorded zero has been rediscovered on a stone tablet deep in the Cambodian jungle – a single dot chiseled into stone, hidden decades ago from the grasp of the Khmer Rouge. This is one of the only photos … Continue reading

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This computer program has ‘solved’ Texas hold’em poker

A new computer program is unbeatable in Texas hold’em poker. Let this AI player sit in for enough games, and it will never lose, no matter what its opponent plays, or what cards it’s been dealt. Computer scientists from the … Continue reading

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Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow – umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have now proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number … Continue reading

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The Invention of the Equals Sign

equals

The use of ‘=’ to mean ‘equals’ is one of those minor advances in mathematics that we take for granted. It’s so small that we don’t really think about it. But Joseph Mazur, the author of Enlightening Symbols A Short … Continue reading

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Pierre Bézier

bezier

Pierre Étienne Bézier (September 1, 1910 – November 25, 1999) was a French engineer and one of the founders of the fields of solid, geometric and physical modelling as well as in the field of representing curves, especially in CAD/CAM … Continue reading

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Do you love mathematics?

Yes, well just copy the following and paste into google and press enter: 5 + (-sqrt(1-x^2-(y-abs(x))^2))*sin(100*((10-x^2-(y-abs(x))^2))), x is from -1 to 1, y is from -1 to 1.5, z is from 1 to 6 Enjoy – Deskarati

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Matrices for the stupid

School Grades Data

A good friend of mine has been trying to explain Matrices to me as a mathematical tool. His description of the function and rules was wonderful but I couldn’t get my head around the applications in the real world. I’m … Continue reading

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Descartes’ theorem & Soddy’s poem

Soddy Circles

In geometry, Descartes’ theorem states that for every four kissing, or mutually tangent, circles, the radii of the circles satisfy a certain quadratic equation. By solving this equation, one can construct a fourth circle tangent to three given, mutually tangent … Continue reading

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First female winner for Fields maths medal

An Iranian mathematician working in the US has become the first ever female winner of the celebrated Fields Medal. In a landmark hailed as “long overdue”, Prof Maryam Mirzakhani was recognised for her work on complex geometry. Four of the … Continue reading

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If you fold a piece of paper in half a 103 times it is as thick as the Universe

britney

Folding paper in half over and over again is a whole lot harder than it sounds. The current record is 12 times, performed over a decade ago by American high school student, Britney Gallivan. Before she managed her twelfth fold, … Continue reading

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Christiaan Huygens

Christiaan_Huygens

Christiaan Huygens was a mathematician, physicist and astronomer who formulated the wave theory of light. He also discovered the pendulum clock, centrifugal force and the true shape of the rings of Saturn (as well as its moon, Titan). Huygens is … Continue reading

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A Very Average Poem

math_teachers

Hey diddle diddle the Median is the middle You add then divide for the Mean The Mode is the one that repeats the most And the Range is the difference between

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Herding in the stock market may inspire human-guided trading algorithms

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Humans have a strong tendency to belong to a group, an instinct that often manifests in herding behavior. Not limited to humans, herding exists throughout nature, for example in ant colonies, schools of fish, and flocks of birds. But what … Continue reading

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Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius

Illustration of pi

In 2002, two men savagely attacked Jason Padgett outside a karaoke bar, leaving him with a severe concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the incident also turned Padgett into a mathematical genius who sees the world through the lens of … Continue reading

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Cracking the Credit Card Code

CrackingCreditCode (1)
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How to win at rock-paper-scissors

What are your odds of winning rock-paper-scissors? Simple – one in three. At least, that’s what chance predicts. But people do not play randomly – they follow hidden patterns that you can predict to win more games than you should, … Continue reading

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The Math Genius Who Invented His Own Language

Giuseppe Peano was, in his time, a towering mathematical genius. He was also a man who did a number of very unusual things – like making up a language, and insisting on lecturing his college students in it. Giuseppe Peano’s … Continue reading

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17 Equations that changed the world

17 equations

By  Ian Stewart

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