The power of math: 17 Equations That Changed the World - a one table summary of the book by Ian Stewart FRS. Business Insider gives its interpretation of the importance of each equation. Brain pickings (2012) on this book and equations, and another extract from the book. [more inside]
How We Know. An essay about information theory in the New York Review of Books by Freeman Dyson, building off a review of James Gleick's The Information. [more inside]
Information-age math finds code in ancient Scottish symbols. "The ancestors of modern Scottish people left behind mysterious, carved stones that new research has just determined contain the written language of the Picts, an Iron Age society that existed in Scotland from 300 to 843. The highly stylized rock engravings, found on what are known as the Pictish Stones, had once been thought to be rock art or tied to heraldry. The new study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, instead concludes that the engravings represent the long lost language of the Picts, a confederation of Celtic tribes that lived in modern-day eastern and northern Scotland."
If you are reading this post on a computer attached to the Internet, you can thank Claude Shannon (1916-2001). It was his work, starting with A Mathematical Theory of Communication, that first enabled humans to extract digital perfection from the analog world by creating the field of Information Theory. Like most computer nerds of his day, who often had to program their computers by moving wires around or even mechanical linkages, he was also an electronics and mechanical whiz who could create a juggling robot and The Ultimate Machine.
Who can name the bigger number? I guarantee you will lose to the Busy Beavers. (No, infinity is not allowed, the bigger infinity is a different game.) The author also debunks in very simple terms the recent story that quantum computers perform calculations without being turned on. My first post and disclaimer: I know the author from our mutual field of quantum information.