The hallways of math and science history are overflowing with the achievements of white men, from Sir Isaac Newton to Steve Jobs; their faces are printed into elementary school textbooks everywhere, and their achievements have been indelibly drilled into our minds, with countless awards and institutions named after…
Calculators are awesome, but they’re not always handy. More to the point, no one wants to be seen reaching for the calculator on their mobile phone when it’s time to figure out a 15 percent gratuity. Here are ten tips to help you crunch numbers in your head.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have shown that it’s possible to detect neurodegenerative disorders in famous artists by analyzing subtle changes in their brush strokes over time. The technique could eventually be used to flag Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in artists before they’re diagnosed.
Each year, tens of thousands of passengers get bumped from their scheduled flights because of overbooking. A new video from TED-Ed explains why companies do it, and why you have a right to be pissed off when it happens.
Have you ever wondered what your brain is really doing as you sweat your way through a math test? Now you can see for yourself, thanks to a new brain imaging study from Carnegie Mellon University that captured the brain activity of people in the act of solving math problems.
Following Melania’s now-infamous speech from the Republican Convention, a Canadian physicist has calculated the odds of those words and phrases appearing in the same order as Michelle Obama’s speech eight years ago. Looking at his answer, let’s just say it would be a coincidence of cosmic proportions.
Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope—one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of…
If you fold a pizza in half lengthwise to eat it (the proper way to eat pizza), then you’re actually utilizing mathematician Carl Gauss’s “theorem egregium” or the “remarkable theorem.”
If you’ve ever been frustrated at your inability to complete a level of Super Mario Brothers, here’s a little something to cheer you up. Computer scientists have demonstrated that solving a level in the popular video game is tantamount to solving some of the hardest problems in computational science.
Each year, the migratory monarch butterfly embarks on an extraordinary journey from eastern North America to central Mexico. A multidisciplinary team of scientists has now created a model circuit that finally explains how these insects are able to navigate across such vast distances.
Everyone learns in grade school that you can’t divide by zero, but few of us ever learn (or fully understand) why. The stock answer is that it gives you an answer of infinity. The truth is a bit more nuanced than that, and an old mechanical calculator offers the perfect illustration.
Mathematicians have discovered a surprising pattern in the expression of prime numbers, revealing a previously unknown “bias” to researchers.
More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a…
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded its prestigious Crafoord Prize, honoring three scientists who have made outstanding achievements in black hole physics and a special kind of geometry.
The complexity of a puzzle is usually dependent on how many tiny pieces are crammed inside its box. But by introducing mathematical fractals into the design, this plain nine-piece puzzle by Oscar van Deventer looks like a nightmare to solve.
Rumors are swirling that Opeyemi Enoch, a professor from the Federal University of Oye Ekiti in Nigeria, has solved the Riemann Hypothesis, a problem that has vexed mathematicians for over 150 years. Too bad it’s not true.
You bid, you win, you pay the amount that you bid. That’s the rule for auctions, right? And that’s why you want to make the lowest bid you think will win. One type of auction, though, takes the guesswork out of it with economic theory.
Men, am I right? They’re everywhere. But why are there so many of them?