Raft to the Future:
An article about the weirdness of physical models of the universe, how that weirdness correlates to the inherent incompleteness
of mathematical systems, and how time itself can emerge
at the fringes of these incomplete models.
posted by knave
on Nov 6, 2006 -
Grigory Perelman, awarded the Fields Medal for his work on the Poincare Conjecture, talks
to the New Yorker.
posted by Gyan
on Aug 29, 2006 -
The Zero Saga
contains a great deal of information about the concept of zero, and its relation to other numbers and concepts in mathematics. It was linked in Good Math, Bad Math
; which contains a variety of other informative articles on the numbers
that capture our imaginations
. (Note: You may want to skip past part 4 of the Zero Saga, as it contains replies to the site, and as such should probably be at the bottom of the page. But, to compensate, the comments on Good Math are better than most blogs I've read.)
posted by Eideteker
on Aug 3, 2006 -
Mapping the StarMaze
A tale of mathematical obsession: "Before I can explain my decades-long quest to map the starmaze I must acquaint you with a small puzzle...I have a habit of seeing everything (cities, organizations, computers, networks, brains) as a maze, so I named this puzzle the starmaze....The first problem I ran into was that there were a lot of rooms...I invented wacky names
for each room...But something funny happened...In that instant I finally grasped that the starmaze was arranged on the edges of a nine-dimensional hypercube
posted by vacapinta
on Jun 4, 2006 -
Gregory Chaitin's Meta Math! The Quest For Omega
"Okay, what I was able to find, or construct, is a funny area of pure mathematics where things are true for no reason, they're true by accident... It's a place where God plays dice with mathematical truth. It consists of mathematical facts which are so delicately balanced between being true or false that we're never going to know, and so you might as well toss a coin." From Paradoxes of Randomness
"In my opinion, Omega suggests that even though maths and physics are different, perhaps they are not as different as most people think. To put it bluntly, if the incompleteness phenomenon discovered by Gödel in 1931 is really serious — and I believe that Turing's work and my own work suggest that incompleteness is much more serious than people think — then perhaps mathematics should be pursued somewhat more in the spirit of experimental science rather than always demanding proofs for everything." From Omega and why maths has no Theory Of Everythings
, see also
posted by MetaMonkey
on Apr 13, 2006 -
of Algebra: "Gabriela, sooner or later someone's going to tell you that algebra teaches reasoning. This is a lie propagated by, among others, algebra teachers.
posted by daksya
on Feb 16, 2006 -
Significance of numbers.
Not to be confused with the concept of "significant figures," this page lists the significance of numbers 0 through 1000.
"2 is the only even prime."
"24 is the largest number divisible by all numbers less than its square root."
"3367 is the smallest number which can be written as the difference of 2 cubes in 3 ways." Whoa!
posted by scarabic
on Nov 11, 2005 -
Norman Wildberger's New Trigonometry
Dr Norman Wildberger has rewritten the arcane rules of trigonometry and eliminated sines, cosines and tangents from the trigonometric toolkit. The First chapter of his new book, Divine Proportions, is online (.pdf
posted by Kwantsar
on Sep 25, 2005 -
is a running contest of programming challenges to hone your algorithm skills.
"Each problem is designed according to a 'one-minute rule', which means that although it may take several hours to design a successful algorithm with more difficult problems, an efficient implementation will allow a solution to be obtained on a modestly powered computer in less than one minute."
posted by Wolfdog
on Aug 20, 2005 -
is an interesting geometric construction that seems to lend itself to folding, dissection, and space-filling in two and three dimensions.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jul 17, 2005 -
Very few people will ever need to learn the value of pi
beyond a handful of digits, but some people are more obsessed than others. They call themselves Piphilologists,
and all the pi-memorization writings you could ever possibly want have been compiled into one massive Piphilogical text file.
And today, Piphilologists the world over must surely bow in tribute to Akira Haraguchi, who has just recited pi from memory to 83,431 places
posted by Faint of Butt
on Jul 4, 2005 -
The Logic of Diversity
"A new book, The Wisdom of Crowds
] by The New Yorker
columnist James Surowiecki, has recently popularized the idea that groups can, in some ways, be smarter than their members, which is superficially similar to Page's results
. While Surowiecki gives many examples of what one might call collective cognition, where groups out-perform isolated individuals, he really has only one explanation for this phenomenon, based on one of his examples: jelly beans [...
] averaging together many independent, unbiased guesses gives a result that is probably closer to the truth than any one guess. While true — it's the central limit theorem
of statistics — it's far from being the only way in which diversity
can be beneficial in problem solving." (Three-Toed Sloth)
posted by kliuless
on Jun 20, 2005 -