All posts tagged with mathematics

Link: Sandpile dynamics explained

1 minute read

My UW-Madison mathematics colleague Jordan Ellenberg has an interesting feature in Nautilus that describes a simple model capable of generating very complex ...

Mathematical thinking

less than 1 minute read

The Kavli Foundation sponsored an interesting conversation among four scientists about whether mathematical concepts are natural or inventions of humans: “Wh...

Civic allometry

less than 1 minute read

An interesting article from Smithsonian magazine, about the mathematical study of cities: “Life in the city is essentially one giant math problem”.

Math for biology

less than 1 minute read

Edward O. Wilson, in the Wall Street Journal writes: “Great Scientist ? Good at Math”.

Turing and the apple

less than 1 minute read

Folklorist Alan Garner has a poignant, short remembrance of Alan Turing:

Monkey numerical distractions

2 minute read

This study has been out for a few weeks, and I’ve been meaning to put up a short comment about it: “Representational format determines numerical competence i...

Number as cognitive technology

4 minute read

Archaeologists often define technology in terms of material products. People make stuff, and that stuff is technology.

Hangman strategy

less than 1 minute read

You may have seen that story about “jazz” being the hardest Hangman word. Personally, I always figure that such a short word is hardly fair, but I’m not that...

People particles

2 minute read

Last week’s Science included an article by Adrian Cho examining the way that social modelers use math to describe human behavior on a large scale (“Ourselves...

Why biologists should care about math

2 minute read

I’d like to point readers to James Crow’s article in the open access Journal of Biology. Titled, “Mayr, mathematics and the study of evolution,” it’s a brief...

Perils of modeling

1 minute read

You’re not coming here for economic analysis, but I found this Wired article on quants, risk, and the financial crisis useful:

Rubik algorithm to Ph.D.

less than 1 minute read

Bina Venkataraman tells the interesting story of Jessica Fridrich, who as a Czech teenager in 1981 developed the fastest algorithm for solving the Rubik’s cu...

The utility of theoretical models

3 minute read

I’m reading through Peter Turchin’s 1998 book, Quantitative Analysis of Movement, for a project I’m working on. I found that his second chapter gives a very ...

Worms do calculus

less than 1 minute read

Another sign I’m not expecting enough of my students: “Worms do calculus to find food”:

Numbers, Amazon-style

3 minute read

In last week’s Science, Stanislas Dehaene and colleagues describe the relation of cultural invention to “universal intuition” about mathematical logic: