Keyword: mathematics

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  • Theranos Whistleblower Shook the Company—And His Family

    11/16/2016 6:06:29 PM PST · by CorporateStepsister · 18 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | November 16 2016 | By John Carreyrou
    After working at Theranos Inc. for eight months, Tyler Shultz decided he had seen enough. On April 11, 2014, he emailed company founder Elizabeth Holmes to complain that Theranos had doctored research and ignored failed quality-control checks. The reply was withering. Ms. Holmes forwarded the email to Theranos President Sunny Balwani, who belittled Mr. Shultz’s grasp of basic mathematics and his knowledge of laboratory science, and then took a swipe at his relationship with George Shultz, the former secretary of state and a Theranos director. “The only reason I have taken so much time away from work to address this...
  • The Oracle of Arithmetic

    07/04/2016 4:38:42 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 33 replies
    Quanta ^ | 28 Jun, 2016 | Erica Klarreich
    At 28, Peter Scholze is uncovering deep connections between number theory and geometry. In 2010, a startling rumor filtered through the number theory community and reached Jared Weinstein. Apparently, some graduate student at the University of Bonn in Germany had written a paper that redid “Harris-Taylor” — a 288-page book dedicated to a single impenetrable proof in number theory — in only 37 pages. The 22-year-old student, Peter Scholze, had found a way to sidestep one of the most complicated parts of the proof, which deals with a sweeping connection between number theory and geometry. “It was just so stunning...
  • University Drops Math Requirement for Diversity Class

    06/30/2016 6:53:08 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 30 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/27/2016 | Derek Draplin
    A faculty committee has proposed adding a three credit hours requirement in diversity to the general education curriculum at Wayne State University. It also recommended that WSU drop its university-wide requirement in mathematics, an idea that was carried out on June 13. “We are proposing the creation of specific ‘Diversity’ courses, with students required to take one course in this designation,” said a document from the General Education Reform Committee, which is recalibrating what the university will expect from all students who earn a degree from the state university. It released the proposal in May. The committee report said, “These...
  • The 17 equations that changed the world

    06/29/2016 8:33:17 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 65 replies
    World Economic Forum ^ | 4 Apr, 2016 | Andy Kiersz
    In 2012, Mathematician Ian Stewart came out with an excellent and deeply researched book titled "In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World." His book takes a look at the most pivotal equations of all time, and puts them in a human, rather than technical context. "Equations definitely can be dull, and they can seem complicated, but that’s because they are often presented in a dull and complicated way," Stewart told Business Insider. "I have an advantage over school math teachers: I'm not trying to show you how to do the sums yourself." ... Stewart continued that...
  • World Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe

    06/09/2016 9:32:50 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 94 replies
    Intellectual Takeout ^ | June 8, 2016 | Jon Miltimore
    World Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe ‘The final resolution could be that God is a mathematician.’ Michio Kaku has made a name for himself as a world-leading theoretical physicist unafraid to speak his mind.Kaku, the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, has published more than 70 articles in physics journals on topics such as supersymmetry, superstring theory, supergravity, and hadronic physics.His latest claim is likely to make waves in the world of science.“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence”, Kaku says...
  • Mathematicians And 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'

    04/30/2016 8:09:39 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 74 replies
    Inside Science ^ | 29 Apr, 2016 | Ramin Skibba
    (Inside Science) – In 1914, an unknown Indian man boarded a ship and traveled across the world to Cambridge University in England, where he could finally follow his passion for mathematics. In the few short years between his arrival and untimely death, he filled notebooks with formulas and discovered theorems, some of which still influence the work of mathematicians and scientists today. The new biopic, "The Man Who Knew Infinity," which opens in U.S. theaters beginning Friday, April 29, chronicles the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan. A self-taught Indian mathematician from the city then called Madras (now Chennai), Ramanujan struggled to...
  • A Liberal Magazine Just Spilled the Beans about K-12 Education

    04/20/2016 8:31:32 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 50 replies
    American Thinker ^ | April 20, 2016 | Bruce Deitrick Price
    This upscale progressive magazine ran a super-long, super-detailed article titled "The Math Revolution." It basically wanted to proclaim the happy news that extraordinary things are taking place in American education. The Atlantic fell all over itself with enthusiasm. You would reasonably suppose that some fresh winds were blowing, and students in America would actually know how to add and subtract with competence, and maybe even multiply and divide efficiently. What else does the word "revolution" suggest but wonderful sweeping change? At last, at long last, our public schools will redeem themselves and began to turn out little math experts. Then...
  • Is algebra an unnecessary stumbling block in US schools?

    03/28/2016 5:07:09 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 232 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Mar. 27, 2016 1:06 PM EDT | Karen Matthews
    Who needs algebra? That question muttered by many a frustrated student over the years has become a vigorous debate among American educators, sparked by a provocative new book that argues required algebra has become an unnecessary stumbling block that forces millions to drop out of high school or college. “One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” said political scientist Andrew Hacker, author of “The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions.” Hacker, a professor emeritus...
  • An Oxford professor has won Ł500,000 for solving the 300-year-old Fermat's Last Theorem

    03/16/2016 7:26:38 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 49 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 03/16/2016 | Charles Clark
    Oxford University professor Sir Andrew Wiles has been awarded the prestigious Abel Prize for his "stunning proof" of Fermat's Last Theorem. Wiles life has been dedicated to the three-century-old theorem which has been his "passion from an early age" after he read “The Last Problem” by ET Bell. His proof was first published in 1994 while working at Princeton University in New Jersey — he will collect the award 22 years later at a ceremony in Oslo in May. The theorem, created in 1637 by French mathematician Pierre de Fermant, says that there are no solutions in integers — or...
  • Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy

    03/14/2016 5:28:27 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 58 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 13 Mar, 2016 | Erica Klarreich
    A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a longstanding assumption about how they behave. o mathematicians have uncovered a simple, previously unnoticed property of prime numbers — those numbers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves. Prime numbers, it seems, have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them. Among the first billion prime numbers, for instance, a prime ending in 9 is almost 65 percent more likely to be followed by a prime ending in 1 than another prime ending in 9. In a paper posted online today, Kannan Soundararajan...
  • Babylonians Were Using Geometry Centuries Earlier Than Thought

    01/28/2016 2:56:35 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 35 replies
    smithsonian ^ | 01/28/2016 | Jesse Emspak
    Mathieu Ossendrijver of Humboldt University in Berlin found the tablet while combing through the collections at the British Museum. The written record gives instructions for estimating the area under a curve by finding the area of trapezoids drawn underneath. Using those calculations, the tablet shows how to find the distance Jupiter has traveled in a given interval of time. Until now, this kind of use of trapezoids wasn't known to exist before the 14th century. ... By 400 B.C. Babylonian astronomers had worked out a coordinate system using the ecliptic, the region of the sky the sun and planets move...
  • New derivation of pi links quantum physics and pure math

    11/10/2015 10:54:08 AM PST · by Red Badger · 34 replies ^ | November 10, 2015 | Provided by: American Institute of Physics
    Two pages from the book "Arithmetica Infinitorum," by John Wallis. In the table on the left page, the square that appears repeatedly denotes 4/pi, or the ratio of the area of a square to the area of the circumscribed circle. Wallis used the table to obtain the inequalities shown at the top of the page on the right that led to his formula. Credit: Digitized by Google ============================================================================================================= In 1655 the English mathematician John Wallis published a book in which he derived a formula for pi as the product of an infinite series of ratios. Now researchers from the University...
  • Teacher's answer to Common Core math problem has parents steaming

    10/27/2015 9:05:45 AM PDT · by BlackFemaleArmyCaptain · 102 replies
    sheknows ^ | 10/27/2015 | Christine McDow
    A new trend in math at elementary schools around the country has parents pulling out their hair. Mainly because it is the opposite of how most of today's adults were taught to do simple multiplication in the first place. According to a Common Core math worksheet that's gone viral, an elementary child today cannot just say, "5 x 3 = 15." Instead they have to change the multiplication problem to addition before solving the equation. However, if the child says, "5 + 5 + 5 = 15," they will still lose points because the problem must be written as it...
  • Why '5+5+5=15' is wrong under the Common Core

    10/25/2015 3:53:05 PM PDT · by grundle · 125 replies
    Business Insider ^ | October 25, 2015 | Jacob Shamsian
    Here's a "repeated addition" Common Core problem that's taught in third grade in US schools: Use the repeated-addition strategy to solve: 5x3 If you answer the question with "5+5+5=15,” you would be wrong. The correct answer is "3+3+3+3+3.” Mathematically, both are correct. But under Common Core, you're supposed to read "5x3" as "five groups of three." So "three groups of five" is wrong. According to Common Core defenders, this method will be useful when students do more advanced math. This way of reading things, for instance, can be used when students learn matrices in multivariable calculus in high school. But...
  • A Life in Games

    08/31/2015 3:18:21 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 1 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 8/28/15 | Siobhan Roberts
    A Life in Games John Horton Conway claims to have never worked a day in his life. This adaptation from the biography Genius at Play shows how serious advances such as the surreal numbers can spring out of fun and games. Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise ApplewhiteJohn Horton Conway at Princeton University in 2009. By: Siobhan RobertsAugust 28, 2015 Comments (6) Gnawing on his left index finger with his chipped old British teeth, temporal veins bulging and brow pensively squinched beneath the day-before-yesterday’s hair, the mathematician John Horton Conway unapologetically whiles away his hours tinkering and thinkering — which...
  • Is There a STEM Worker Shortage? (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

    06/10/2015 5:51:33 PM PDT · by xzins · 34 replies
    Center for Immigration Studies ^ | May 2014 | Karen Zeigler, Steven A. Camarota
    Steven A. Camarota is the Director of Research and Karen Zeigler is a demographer at the Center for Immigration Studies. While employers argue that there are not enough workers with technical skills, most prior research has found little evidence that such workers are in short supply. This report uses the latest Census Bureau data available to examine the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Consistent with other research, the findings show that the country has more than twice as many workers with STEM degrees as there are STEM jobs. Also consistent with other research, we find only modest levels...
  • ‘Beautiful Mind’ Mathematician John Nash Replaced Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity Days Before Death

    06/01/2015 12:19:56 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 104 replies
    The Inquisitr News ^ | May 30, 2015 | Tara West
    John Forbes Nash Jr. was a mathematical genius who had his life chronicled in the movie A Beautiful Mind. One of Nash’s colleagues says that just days before he died in a New York taxi cab accident, he had discussed his latest and possibly most brilliant discovery to date. Mathematician Cédric Villan says that Nash told him that he had replaced Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and that the new equation would further explain quantum gravity. The Daily Mail reports that on May 20, 2015, just three days before the tax cab accident that would take his life, Nash spoke to...
  • Mathematics: The Beautiful Language of the Universe

    06/06/2015 7:25:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 68 replies ^ | Joshua Carroll
    Sir Isaac Newton...came to the realization that the math that had been used thus far to describe physical motion of massive bodies, simply would not suffice... Newton developed the Calculus in which this way of approaching moving bodies, he was able to accurately model the motion of not only Halley’s comet, but also any other heavenly body that moved across the sky. ... Newton recognized that Kepler’s mathematical equation for planetary motion, Kepler’s 3rd Law ( P2=A3 ), was purely based on empirical observation, and was only meant to measure what we observed within our solar system. Newton’s mathematical brilliance...
  • Why John Nash Matters

    05/27/2015 5:56:33 AM PDT · by OK Sun · 9 replies
    Five Thirty Eight ^ | 8:47 AM May 25, 2015 | Benjamin Morris
    John F. Nash Jr. is widely known as the subject of the Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind,” but his contributions to the advancement of human knowledge are far greater. Nash paved the way for game theory to spread from a collection of toy cases in mathematics to a generalizable theory applicable to virtually anything — board games, economics, politics, international relations — to the point where now it’s practically a mode of critical thinking in its own right. On Saturday, the 86-year-old mathematician and his wife, Alicia, were killed in a car crash in New Jersey. There have been...
  • Mathematicians Chase Moonshine’s Shadow

    03/13/2015 6:10:51 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 19 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 3/12/15 | Erica Klarreich
    Mathematicians Chase Moonshine’s Shadow Researchers are on the trail of a mysterious connection between number theory, algebra and string theory. In 1978, the mathematician John McKay noticed what seemed like an odd coincidence. He had been studying the different ways of representing the structure of a mysterious entity called the monster group, a gargantuan algebraic object that, mathematicians believed, captured a new kind of symmetry. Mathematicians weren’t sure that the monster group actually existed, but they knew that if it did exist, it acted in special ways in particular dimensions, the first two of which were 1 and 196,883.McKay, of...
  • Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics

    02/20/2015 6:01:20 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 94 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | 2/20/15 | Max Tegmark
    Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics By Max Tegmark | February 20, 2015 9:00 am I was seduced by infinity at an early age. Georg Cantor’s diagonality proof that some infinities are bigger than others mesmerized me, and his infinite hierarchy of infinities blew my mind. The assumption that something truly infinite exists in nature underlies every physics course I’ve ever taught at MIT—and, indeed, all of modern physics. But it’s an untested assumption, which begs the question: Is it actually true?A Crisis in Physics There are in fact two separate assumptions: “infinitely big” and “infinitely...
  • The Origin of the Number Zero

    12/13/2014 6:32:47 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 60 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | December 2014 | Amir Aczel
    Of all the numerals, "0" -- alone in green on the roulette wheel -- is most significant. Unique in representing absolute nothingness, its role as a placeholder gives our number system its power. It enables the numerals to cycle, acquiring different meanings in different locations (compare 3,000,000 and 30). With the exception of the Mayan system, whose zero glyph never left the Americas, ours is the only one known to have a numeral for zero. Babylonians had a mark for nothingness, say some accounts, but treated it primarily as punctuation. Romans and Egyptians had no such numeral either... Found on...
  • Math is forbidding for Democrats in struggle for Senate

    11/04/2014 6:29:15 AM PST · by Biggirl · 57 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | November 4,2014 | David A. Fahrenthold,Katie Zezima,Paul Kane
    On the last day of the 2014 campaign, Democrats knew they were in trouble.
  • Poor scores for Colo. students on science, social studies tests

    10/27/2014 7:37:49 PM PDT · by george76 · 19 replies
    kdvr ^ | October 27, 2014 | Thomas Hendrick
    DENVER — Results for a new standardized test for science and social studies came in on Monday and they likely put frowns on educators and parents. ... Just 17 percent of Colorado fourth- and seventh-graders scored “strong” or “distinguished” on social studies tests. Those are the scores necessary to for students to be considered on track to be ready for college and a career, ... Achievement gaps still persisted between white and students of color. For example, in fourth-grade social studies, 6 percent of Hispanic/Latino students and 7 percent of African-American students have “strong” or “distinguished command” of the subject....
  • Why America Ranks 26th In The Developed World For Math (In 1 Common Core Question)

    10/26/2014 7:57:17 AM PDT · by cutty · 29 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 10/25/2014 | Tyler Durden
    Among the 34 OECD countries, the US performed below average in mathematics and is ranked 27th ... While the U.S. spends more per student than most countries, this does not translate into better performance (e.g. the Slovak Republic, which spends around $53k per student, performs at the same level as the US, which spends over $115k per student).
  • Islamic State Militants Ban Mathematics, Social Studies for Children

    09/17/2014 10:04:48 PM PDT · by george76 · 28 replies
    Press Trust of India ^ | September 17, 2014
    Thousands of children in swaths of war-torn Syria, now controlled by dreaded Islamic State militants, can no longer study math or social studies under new diktats issued by the jihadists. While sports is banned, the children will not be allowed to learn about elections and democracy. Instead, the children will be subjected to the teachings of the radical Islamist group. And any teacher who dares to break the rules "will be punished." ... The Sunni militant group has captured a slew of Syrian and Iraqi cities in recent months as it tries to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state, spanning...
  • Air Show Math

    09/14/2014 8:19:53 PM PDT · by rey · 72 replies
    Vanity | 14 Sept. 2014 | Rey
    I home school a young girl. In years past, we have gone to the local air show and done such things as measure the tops and bottom of wings and rotos and figure the ratio or difference between the area of the top of the wing versus the bottom and estimated which wings had more lift than others. We measure how much area the wheels occupied on the ground and consulted with the crew chief what the tire pressure was and calculated the weight of the plane. In years past we were able to see F18s form a vapor cone...
  • Priceless: Student Sums Up Common Core Idiocy in a SINGLE Word

    07/13/2014 11:46:51 AM PDT · by AuditTheFed · 43 replies
    Top Right News ^ | 07-08-2014 | Gina Cassini
    by Gina Cassini | Top Right NewsOne student got tired of being dumbed-down by Common Core's convoluted "standards" to do basic arithmetic. "Standards" like how to add two numbers, which the student was told to do like THIS: WHAT? It's enough to make you pull your hair out. So when he was given his next basic arithmetic assignment, to find the difference between 180 and 158 (180-158), this 5th grade student just did it his own way -- the right way -- and dissed Common Core with single, awesome word:
  • How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution by the Great Astronomer, Johannes Kepler

    05/15/2014 7:24:11 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    NPR ^ | 05/15/2014 | Robert Krulwich
    Robert Krulwich/NPRPoor Johannes Kepler. One of the greatest astronomers ever, the man who figured out the laws of planetary motion, a genius, scholar and mathematician — in 1611, he needed a wife. The previous Mrs. Kepler had died of Hungarian spotted fever, so, with kids to raise and a household to manage, he decided to line up some candidates — but it wasn't going very well.Being an orderly man, he decided to interview 11 women. As Alex Bellos describes it in his new book The Grapes of Math, Kepler kept notes as he wooed. It's a catalog of small...
  • Proving uncertainty: First rigorous formulation supporting Heisenberg's famous 1927 principle

    04/29/2014 10:27:28 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 04-29-2014 | Provided by American Institute of Physics
    Nearly 90 years after Werner Heisenberg pioneered his uncertainty principle, a group of researchers from three countries has provided substantial new insight into this fundamental tenet of quantum physics with the first rigorous formulation supporting the uncertainty principle as Heisenberg envisioned it. In the Journal of Mathematical Physics, the researchers reports a new way of defining measurement errors that is applicable in the quantum domain and enables a precise characterization of the fundamental limits of the information accessible in quantum experiments. Quantum mechanics requires that we devise approximate joint measurements because the theory itself prohibits simultaneous ideal measurements of position...
  • And the Most Desirable Job in the World Is…

    04/16/2014 6:55:35 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    TIME ^ | 04/16/2014 | Martha C. White
    For a new study ranking the best jobs of 2014, jobs website did some number-crunching and found — perhaps not surprisingly — that crunching numbers is a pretty good gig.With a median income of $101,360 and a 23% projected job growth rate by 2022, mathematician topped the site’s roundup of the most desirable jobs. CareerCast points to the “exponentially growing popularity of mathematics” in everything from healthcare and technology to sports and politics.“Mathematicians are employed in every sector of the economy… from Wall Street brokerages to energy exploration companies to IT R&D labs to university classrooms,” CareerCast publisher Tony...
  • Silicon Valley's 'bro culture' locks out many minorities

    02/07/2014 7:39:05 AM PST · by artichokegrower · 27 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | February 6, 2014 | Joe Garofoli
    The Silicon Valley touts itself as a meritocracy where people climb the economic ladder based on the power of their ideas. But many people of color can't even find that ladder, let alone climb it. They're not part of the valley's white-male-dominated "bro culture," advocates say, and aren't connected to the social and educational networks where companies recruit talent.
  • Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?

    01/26/2014 9:03:13 AM PST · by onedoug · 26 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 3 SEP 2013 | Lisa Zyga
    Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its "mother tongue," and that this mathematics has its own existence that is out there waiting to be discovered? This point of view on the nature of the relationship between mathematics and...
  • An old mathematical puzzle soon to be unraveled?

    01/21/2014 7:34:06 AM PST · by onedoug · 34 replies ^ | 15 JAN 2014 | Benjamin Augereau
    It is one the oldest mathematical problems in the world. Several centuries ago, the twin primes conjecture was formulated. As its name indicates, this hypothesis, which many science historians have attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid, deals with prime numbers, those divisible only by themselves and by one (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, etc.). Under this assumption, there exists an infinite number of pairs of prime numbers whose difference is two, called twin primes (e.g., 3 and 5), but nobody has been able to confirm this so far.
  • A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

    09/19/2013 5:59:05 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 40 replies ^ | 9/17/13 | Natalie Wolchover
    A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics Artist’s rendering of the amplituhedron, a newly discovered mathematical object resembling a multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated — the probabilities of outcomes of particle interactions. Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.“This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has...
  • The Mathematical Proof for Christianity Is Irrefutable

    05/29/2013 2:02:35 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 69 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 05/29/2013 | Dan Delzell
    It is impossible that Christianity is not God's revelation of truth to man. Simply impossible. The math proves it beyond question. It doesn't take faith to believe that one plus one equals two, and it doesn't take faith to identify the religion which has mathematical certainty in its corner. God didn't have to give us mathematical proof of His existence, but He did it anyway. God didn't have to give us proof of Christianity, but He chose to do so. And God didn't have to give us proof of His love for us, but that is exactly what He did....
  • One of the most abstract fields in math finds application in the 'real' world

    05/23/2013 11:23:14 AM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    Science News ^ | May 20, 2013 | Julie Rehmeyer
    Every pure mathematician has experienced that awkward moment when asked, “So what’s your research good for?” There are standard responses: a proud “Nothing!”; an explanation that mathematical research is an art form like, say, Olympic gymnastics (with a much smaller audience); or a stammered response that so much of pure math has ended up finding application that maybe, perhaps, someday, it will turn out to be useful. That last possibility is now proving itself to be dramatically true in the case of category theory, perhaps the most abstract area in all of mathematics. Where math is an abstraction of the...
  • Evolutionary Math?

    05/09/2013 3:24:46 PM PDT · by lasereye · 25 replies
    ICR ^ | 2012 | Jason Lisle, Ph.D.
    Most people have heard of “evolutionary biology.” But the term “evolution” is often applied in a broader sense (gradual, naturalistic changes over long ages) to other fields of study. Some people study geology or astronomy from an evolutionary perspective. But has anyone ever studied “evolutionary mathematics”? What would an evolutionist mathematician study? Can the existence of numbers and mathematical laws be explained by a time-and-chance naturalistic origin? To answer these questions, let us first consider some background material and definitions. Mathematics is the study of the relationships and properties of numbers. What, then, are numbers? That may seem like an...
  • Brain measurements predict math progress with tutoring (Size Matters)

    05/05/2013 6:30:36 AM PDT · by equalator · 16 replies
    Science News ^ | 4-29-2013 | Meghan Rosen
    Certain measures of brain anatomy were even better at judging learning potential than traditional measures of ability such as IQ and standardized test results, says study author Kaustubh Supekar of Stanford University. These signatures include the size of the hippocampus — a string bean–shaped structure involved in making memories — and how connected the area was with other parts of the brain. The findings suggest that kids struggling with their math homework aren’t necessarily slacking off, says cognitive scientist David Geary of the University of Missouri in Columbia. “They just may not have as much brain region devoted to memory...
  • It just doesn’t add up: One in three adults can’t do simple sums past 100 without a calculator

    03/13/2013 1:57:35 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 67 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 18:14 EST, 12 March 2013 | Amanda Williams
    A fifth of adults are so bad at math that they struggle to perform basic mental arithmetic, a survey has revealed. More than a third can only manage sums that total less than 100 and have to use a calculator for anything larger. One in 50 people were stumped by adding or subtracting in their head if the total was more than ten. And one in three parents believed their children’s ability exceeded their own. …
  • 17-year-old Rutvik Oza Solves Unsolved Problem in Maths

    02/17/2013 8:47:48 AM PST · by Pratap Singh · 41 replies
    Yahoo! ^ | 17/02/2013 | Pratap Singh
    An Indian teen has recently proposed a solution to an unsolved problem in mathematics. The 17-year-old young achiever, Rutvik Oza, a student of The H. B. Kapadia New High School, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat has now put a full stop to another open problem in the field of maths by providing a closed formula for the problem called Reve's Puzzle (also popularly known as the 4-peg Tower of Hanoi Problem). When asked about how was he feeling, "Thrilled! I really didn't realize at first that the problem that I had solved was an open problem in mathematics. It was only later...
  • Will Dumping Math Requirements Increase College Grad Rates? / worthless college degrees

    HetchingerEd is offering a rather radical proposal to increase the number of American students who graduate college: dump math. Specifically, the argument is that since many college students, a disproportionately large number of them of an African-American or Hispanic descent, are unprepared to tackle college-level mathematics courses, they might be stymied by a requirement that all those receiving a degree from a particular institution must pass the freshman version of the course. A fifth of students entering a four-year college don’t have the needed math skills to pass the course and are forced into remediation. Nearly half of community college...
  • Bill Thurston (mathematician, dead at 65)

    08/22/2012 6:48:48 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 5 replies
    What's new ^ | August 22, 2012 | Terence Tao
    Bill Thurston, who made fundamental contributions to our understanding of low-dimensional manifolds and related structures, died on Tuesday, aged 65.
  • Is Algebra Necessary?

    07/29/2012 6:05:38 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 311 replies
    New York Times ^ | July 28, 2012 | ANDREW HACKER
    A TYPICAL American school day finds some six million high school students and two million college freshmen struggling with algebra. In both high school and college, all too many students are expected to fail. Why do we subject American students to this ordeal? I’ve found myself moving toward the strong view that we shouldn’t. My question extends beyond algebra and applies more broadly to the usual mathematics sequence, from geometry through calculus. State regents and legislators — and much of the public — take it as self-evident that every young person should be made to master polynomial functions and parametric...
  • How to Win a Three-Way Gunfight

    07/06/2012 1:20:50 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 27 replies
    IO9 ^ | July 6, 2012 | Esther Inglis-Arkell
    How to Win a Three-Way Gunfight Truels are things guaranteed to make any Western fifty percent better — by adding a third person to a duel. Each person can choose his or her target, and the worst person might very well be the winner — provided they play it smart. Learn how to win yourself a truel, gunslinger-style. Game theorists have thought about the problem of duels for a long time. As much as the Old West was depicted as a lawless place where anything might happen, it was also known for hanging its criminals high — which meant that...
  • Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem

    05/26/2012 3:07:20 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 76 replies
    The ^ | Published: 23 May 12 07:03 CET | The
    A 16-year-old schoolboy has solved a mathematical problem which has stumped mathematicians for centuries, a newspaper report said. The boy put the historical breakthrough down to “schoolboy naivety.” Shouryya Ray, who moved to Germany from India with his family at the age of 12, has baffled scientists and mathematicians by solving two fundamental particle dynamics problems posed by Sir Isaac Newton over 350 years ago, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday. Ray’s solutions make it possible to now calculate not only the flight path of a ball, but also predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall. Previously...
  • Math Matters

    02/22/2012 4:15:12 AM PST · by Kaslin · 49 replies ^ | February 22, 2012 | Walter E. Williams
    If one manages to graduate from high school without the rudiments of algebra, geometry and trigonometry, there are certain relatively high-paying careers probably off-limits for life -- such as careers in architecture, chemistry, computer programming, engineering, medicine and certain technical fields. For example, one might meet all of the physical requirements to be a fighter pilot, but he's grounded if he doesn't have enough math to understand physics, aerodynamics and navigation. Mathematical ability helps provide the disciplined structure that helps people to think, speak and write more clearly. In general, mathematics is an excellent foundation and prerequisite for study in...
  • Hot Idea for a Faster Hard Drive

    02/16/2012 8:16:39 PM PST · by neverdem · 29 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 7 February 2012 | Jim Heirbaut
    Enlarge Image Laser-induced switching. Experimental images showing two small domains with magnetic orientation up (white) and down (black). Each laser pulse reverses the direction repeatedly. Credit: Johan Mentink; Richard Evans (inset) An ultrashort heat pulse can predictably flip a bit in a magnetic memory like the one in your hard drive. The surprising effect could ultimately lead to magnetic memories hundreds of times faster and more energy efficient than today's hard drives. It also provides a way to control the direction in which a bit is magnetized without applying something else that has a direction, such as a magnetic...
  • Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard)

    11/04/2011 1:57:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 50 replies · 2+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 4, 2011 | CHRISTOPHER DREW
    LAST FALL, President Obama threw what was billed as the first White House Science Fair, a photo op in the gilt-mirrored State Dining Room. He tested a steering wheel designed by middle schoolers to detect distracted driving and peeked inside a robot that plays soccer. It was meant as an inspirational moment: children, science is fun; work harder. Politicians and educators have been wringing their hands for years over test scores showing American students falling behind their counterparts in Slovenia and Singapore. How will the United States stack up against global rivals in innovation? The president and industry groups have...
  • Turning the Classroom Upside Down (article about Khan Academy)

    04/09/2011 12:45:57 PM PDT · by Sonny M · 43 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | April 9, 2011 | SALMAN KHAN
    We all know the standard drill for a math class. The teacher delivers lectures on a new concept, students do some homework problems, and after a few weeks they take an exam. Some do well, some do poorly, and then it's on to the next topic.