Math

Category archives for Math

“I go to the Natural History Museum and look at the cage of stuffed starlings there. But my favourite thing is the big blue whale. The scale of it is unbelievable, and makes you feel how insignificant you are as a human being.” -Arthur Darvill How good is your sense of scale? Humans are notoriously…

“I think it’s rarely about what you actually learn in class. It’s mostly about things that you stay motivated to go and continue to do on your own.” -Maryam Mirzakhani, on success in mathematics Only a few weeks ago, pioneering mathematician and the first (and only) woman to win the Fields Medal, Maryam Mirzakhani, tragically…

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” -Arnold Glascow When someone makes a shot, it’s a little instinctive to want to give them the ball again to see if they’ll make another. If they make three or four in a row, you’ll really want to ride that ‘hot hand’ as…

“I don’t always bet the same way I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.” -Hunter S. Thompson Did you know the world’s first wearable computer was built all the way back in the 1960s, was worn on your feet… and was used to help gamblers cheat at roulette? Physicists…

“Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein There are a great many events that occurred to give rise to the world, the Universe, and you. Everything from the Big Bang to the existence of the laws of physics to the cosmic…

“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…