...harnessing the power of Lava Lite® lamps to generate truly random numbers....
That's a bold statement, but who am I to doubt the power of the lava lamp
. The mathematical purist may disagree with the "truely random" part, but this geek speak
convinced me that LavaRand can handle all my random number needs.
posted by bicyclingfool
on Apr 30, 2001 -
School's mathematics don't add up!
PS 234, a primary school in TriBeCa, is at the forefront of the revolution in math instruction being carried out in more than half of New York City's schools. The district's approach to math instruction follows an egalitarian theory called "constructivist math," which is the idea that children shouldn't
learn basic techniques for adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying. Rather, emphasis is placed on "feeling good about numbers" etc. Said one angry parent, "The idea that the home has to be turned into the school because the school is the testing ground for inane programs - that's frightening." And leading university mathematicians have joined parent groups in denouncing the method. All things
concidered, is it right for schools to use children as guinea pigs in this manner?
posted by frednorman
on Apr 10, 2001 -
Mathematician Bums Out Entire Scientific Community
His "Omega" number--infinite and incalculable--guts hopes for pure mathematics, physicists' hopes for a Theory of Everything, and is just in general kind of bafflingly cool. Builds on the whole Godel/Turing foundation of hopelessness!
posted by Skot
on Mar 15, 2001 -
Americans suck at math. Mathematician trade deficit ensues...
I only find this article interesting because of a talk with my math teacher recently about how most math teachers these days are foriegners, although she isn't, and not that foriegners are bad. But I'm curious if this a bad problem in today's economy or not? Or if this is a problem? What country is good at math? India and China? That's where most of the Silicon Valley CEO's workers are from these days. Or is that political, financial? I don't know. Do you know?
posted by redleaf
on Feb 7, 2001 -
Statistics is cool! (Amazing introduction to the concept of estimation, and error computing.)
posted by rschram
on Oct 24, 2000 -
The Poincaré Conjecture
: If we stretch a rubber band around the surface of an apple, then we can shrink it down to a point by moving it slowly, without tearing it and without allowing it to leave the surface. On the other hand, if we imagine that the same rubber band has somehow been stretched in the appropriate direction around a doughnut, then there is no way of shrinking it to a point without breaking either the rubber band or the doughnut. We say the the surface of the apple is ‘simply connected,’ but that the surface of the doughnut is not. Poincaré, almost a hundred years ago, knew that a two dimensional sphere is essentially characterized by this property of simple connectivity, and asked the corresponding question for the three dimensional sphere (the set of points in four dimensional space at unit distance from the origin). This question turned out be be extraordinarily difficult, and mathematicians have been struggling with it ever since.
...but if you can prove it, [or any of six other 'millenium prize problems
'] the clay mathematics institute
wants to line your pockets with $1M
posted by palegirl
on May 24, 2000 -