Math

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Category archives for Math

Letters and numbers are often mentally grouped together; they’re both simple sets of symbols that are the building blocks for much more complex concepts, and mastering their relationships is a cornerstone of early education. But while illiteracy becomes a major social stigma almost immediately after a young person is introduced to letters, most people can…

Memories of Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner, polymath, puzzle-master, and philosopher, died on Sunday at the age of 95. Though he never formally studied math more complicated than calculus at the high school level, Gardner was perhaps best known for his interest in “recreational mathematics,” the series of math and logic puzzles he published in books and magazine columns for…

Mmm…Pi

Time to preheat your ovens…the second annual Pi Day Pie Bakeoff wants your best creations to celebrate March 14. This year food mecca Serious Eats is our co-sponsor, meaning the prizes have gotten bigger and badder. The Grand Prize winner will receive $314 in warm, flaky cash—irrational change not included. You can also win a…

The Buzz: Hitting the Human Wall

Human athletic performance has the consistent ability to amaze us–we tend to think of the Michael Phelpses and Lance Armstrongs of the world as nearly superhuman. But in fact, there are physiological limits to our species’ strength and speed. On Starts With a Bang, Ethan Siegel calculates the fastest time theoretically possible for the mens’…

The Buzz: Zombie Epidemiology

In the event of a zombie epidemic, scientists have settled on an unambiguous plan for survival: be aggressive. Mathematicians from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University modelled the outcome of responses to zombie infection including quarantine, development of a cure, and “regular, impulsive” slaying of undead to reduce their numbers. The results of their…