Math

Category archives for Math

“[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…

“Exploring this set I certainly never had the feeling of invention. I never had the feeling that my imagination was rich enough to invent all those extraordinary things on discovering them. They were there, even though nobody had seen them before. It’s marvelous, a very simple formula explains all these very complicated things. So the…

Numbers Game (Synopsis)

No one science can stand wholly on its own. For inquiry about the Universe to give a correct, complete picture, it requires that we bring in a whole slew of evidence, often from tangentially related fields. The interplay between three fields in particular — astronomy, physics, and math (not a science, but the tool used…

“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” –Fran Lebowitz It’s a thought that’s occurred to almost everyone at some point or another: what each of us would do if we happened to hit the lottery Jackpot. Have a listen to Camper Van Beethoven sing about…

“Our external environment no longer seems to have any firm boundaries, any limits, or any positive cues about when to stop consuming anything. I mean, there is a reason that people get fat — it’s easy and cheap to get high-calorie, tasty food.” –Bob Harper There are plenty of good things we can all do to get…

Happy Perfect Number Day (Synopsis)

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” –Beyoncé As human beings, we may be far from perfect. Even our mathematical celebrations, like Pi Day, are mere approximations. But there are a few mathematical quantities out there that really are perfect. And today, June 28th, I’d like to share with you…