Math

Category archives for Math

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.” -Rod Serling If we take a look at a two-dimensional surface, it’s pretty apparent that we’re pretty…

“I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under…

“Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge.” -Nate Silver When you take a poll, you survey a number of people with an opinion about something in an attempt to predict the behavior of a much larger number of people. If you increase the number of people you poll, your poll…

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” -Alan Turing The Cosmic Microwave Background data gave us an unprecedented picture of our Universe in terms of accuracy, with the latest Planck results showing us our Universe is 68% dark energy, 13.8 billion years old…

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” -Leonardo da Vinci The Universe is an awfully big place, but how certain are we that we couldn’t travel in a straight line for a very long…

“[T]he coin of life has meaning and value no matter what side it lands on. It’s each individual’s choice whether to bet on the outcome or not, but ultimately your coin of life will be spent somehow.” -Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache Coin flips are traditionally the way to settle disputes with two choices and equal…

The Science of Powerball (Synopsis)

“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” –Fran Lebowitz Later today, the richest lottery drawing in history — the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot — will take place. While many outlets are encouraging people to purchase as many tickets as possible, it’s important to run through…

“I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found.” –John Forbes Nash, Jr. Yet logic and reason — when applied correctly — can get us incredibly far. Have a listen…

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” –H. P. Lovecraft When it comes to risk assessment, there’s one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards. It’s why so many of us are…

The Missing Piece (Synopsis)

If you’re not a theoretical physicist yourself, you might think that physics is physics — we ask questions about the Universe, do experiments/make observations, and get the answers — and math is just a tool that we use to help us get there. But that really sells the power of mathematics short. For a physical…