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That's Mathematics! Warning, contains bad camera work, worse editing, a rather complicated homework problem, a few mathematical in-jokes, illegible chalkboard writing, and a 13 minute performance by Tom Lehrer.

posted by eriko on Jun 14, 2005 - 29 comments

posted by eriko on Jun 14, 2005 - 29 comments

Whether its crocheted hyperbolic models or Lorenz manifolds, a lace pi shawl or knit Fibonacci socks, some math geeks find expression in the fiber arts.

posted by madamjujujive on May 30, 2005 - 26 comments

posted by madamjujujive on May 30, 2005 - 26 comments

Mandelbrot explorer 20th century Dutch mathemeticians are cool. http://www.ddewey.net/mandelbrot/

posted by longsleeves on May 24, 2005 - 21 comments

posted by longsleeves on May 24, 2005 - 21 comments

Capturing the Unicorn : How two mathematicians helped the Met to digitally stitch together the Unicorn Tapestry. (via)

posted by dhruva on Apr 28, 2005 - 22 comments

posted by dhruva on Apr 28, 2005 - 22 comments

Saunders Mac Lane, mathematician, has died, age 95. Winner of the National Medal of Science, Vice-President of the National Academy of Science, President of the American Mathematical Society, author of three of the canonical texts in algebra [reg. maybe req., here's a local copy], Mac Lane was also mathematical ancestor to over a thousand mathematicians, father of category theory and homological algebra, and expert in topology, topos theory, group cohomology, logic, and applied mathematics. He was one of the towering figures of postwar mathematics. Remembered by his students and all of us who were affected by his work and his life.

posted by gleuschk on Apr 22, 2005 - 7 comments

posted by gleuschk on Apr 22, 2005 - 7 comments

The Mathematical Fiction Homepage is a collaborative attempt to "collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction." Feel free to add classic or recent works in any medium to the collection, or rate existing entries on their mathematical content and literary quality.

posted by mediareport on Apr 18, 2005 - 8 comments

posted by mediareport on Apr 18, 2005 - 8 comments

Mathematics Awareness Month - April 2005: Essays, DVD, Links. Prior MAMs.

posted by Gyan on Apr 1, 2005 - 7 comments

posted by Gyan on Apr 1, 2005 - 7 comments

“Gödel put logic on the mathematical map.”

An excellent interview with Rebecca Goldstein, biographer of Kurt Godel

posted by thatwhichfalls on Mar 19, 2005 - 23 comments

An excellent interview with Rebecca Goldstein, biographer of Kurt Godel

posted by thatwhichfalls on Mar 19, 2005 - 23 comments

Danica McKellar —the former star of The Wonder Years—has her own web site. It's got a great feature where she answers your math questions. No, really. She's got a degree in mathematics and co-authored a paper on percolation and Ashkin-Teller models. No, really.

posted by bbrown on Feb 25, 2005 - 43 comments

posted by bbrown on Feb 25, 2005 - 43 comments

Mathematical Model : Knot Divided at the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships 2005. Previous Mefi discussion.

posted by dhruva on Feb 17, 2005 - 3 comments

posted by dhruva on Feb 17, 2005 - 3 comments

Hypothesis as thought-crime...Now, however, a new brouhaha has erupted [at Harvard]and it seems impossible that Summers [the president]will emerge from this one without serious erosion of his moral authority. The trigger was a statement he made at a conference, suggesting that the reason there are more men than women in the mathematical sciences at top-flight institutions has to do with a small statistical difference in inate ability, which becomes a pretty large disparity when one looks at the 'high end' of the respective distribution curves...
The fatal words did not set forth his main theme, but merely constituted a brief aside, thoroughly hedged and qualified. Nonetheless, they touched off a firestorm of indignation, the most striking aspect of which was the intemperate response of a number of feminist scientists, who offered no counter-arguments, but simply declared the whole idea misogynistic and therefore forbidden intellectual territory.

posted by Postroad on Jan 31, 2005 - 71 comments

posted by Postroad on Jan 31, 2005 - 71 comments

+Plus - An internet magazine published five times a year which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics.

posted by Gyan on Jan 6, 2005 - 7 comments

posted by Gyan on Jan 6, 2005 - 7 comments

The Mathematics Genealogy Project. A service of the Department of Mathematics at North Dakota State University, the project intends to "compile information about ALL the mathematicians of the world. [...] It is our goal to list all individuals who have received a doctorate in mathematics." Seven generations from one of my recent professors back to Gauss, six back to Felix Klein (of Erlangen Program and bottle fame), eight back to Jacobi, and nine back to Poisson and Fourier, then Lagrange, then Euler, then the Bernoulli brothers, then Leibniz, and then it blew up at infinity.

posted by gramschmidt on Dec 21, 2004 - 5 comments

posted by gramschmidt on Dec 21, 2004 - 5 comments

Math + test = trouble for US economy For a nation committed to preparing students for 21st century jobs, the results of the first-of-its-kind study of how well teenagers can apply math skills to real-life problems is sobering.
American 15-year-olds rank well below those in most other industrialized countries in mathematics literacy and problem solving, according to a survey released Monday

posted by Postroad on Dec 6, 2004 - 86 comments

posted by Postroad on Dec 6, 2004 - 86 comments

Thinking Machine 4 *explores the invisible, elusive nature of thought. Play chess against a transparent intelligence, its evolving thought process visible on the board before you.*

From Martin Wattenberg (with Marek Walczak); they have been noted here before.

posted by e.e. coli on Oct 27, 2004 - 11 comments

From Martin Wattenberg (with Marek Walczak); they have been noted here before.

posted by e.e. coli on Oct 27, 2004 - 11 comments

The Meaning of Life according to various rather famous people (Dennett, Fukuyama, etc). I'm watching the Dennett video at the moment and it starts rather weakly, but, by midway through, is rolling along nicely. With topics like "being good without god" and "the anthropic principle" it struck me as relevant to a couple of recent askmefi threads.

Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...

(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)

posted by andrew cooke on Oct 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...

(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)

posted by andrew cooke on Oct 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Maths puzzles and more problems. Found whilst searching for the fiendish the Monty Hall Problem. A Tangled Tale, indeed.

posted by plep on Sep 24, 2004 - 6 comments

posted by plep on Sep 24, 2004 - 6 comments

64=65? there must be some kind of trick to this, right?

posted by pyramid termite on Aug 18, 2004 - 30 comments

posted by pyramid termite on Aug 18, 2004 - 30 comments

The Shapes of Space [note : *pdf, sciam, poincaré conjecture*]

posted by kliuless on Aug 1, 2004 - 4 comments

posted by kliuless on Aug 1, 2004 - 4 comments

The Ethnomathematics Digital Library, a collection of links and papers covering the interaction of mathematics and culture. (More Inside)

posted by thatwhichfalls on Jul 31, 2004 - 4 comments

posted by thatwhichfalls on Jul 31, 2004 - 4 comments

An Intuitive Explanation of Bayesian Reasoning. [Page contains Java]

posted by Gyan on Jul 21, 2004 - 9 comments

posted by Gyan on Jul 21, 2004 - 9 comments

Coincidence or contortion? Ivan Panin deciphered a numeric code in the Bible. Known as Gematria, the 'code' implies the Bible could not have been written without Holy assistance. Panin offered an open challenge for someone to create text using a similar pattern, yet no one was able to create one(nor tried).

However many people doubt the authenticity of the code though. The code is found in the same verses using different translations. It is also claimed that Panin manufactured his own translations to create this mathematical phenomenon.

Whether or not you believe, you can determine how good or evil any text or website is.

posted by JakeEXTREME on Jun 25, 2004 - 30 comments

However many people doubt the authenticity of the code though. The code is found in the same verses using different translations. It is also claimed that Panin manufactured his own translations to create this mathematical phenomenon.

Whether or not you believe, you can determine how good or evil any text or website is.

posted by JakeEXTREME on Jun 25, 2004 - 30 comments

Number Spirals: Coincidences of order. "In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them."

posted by jjray on Apr 15, 2004 - 16 comments

posted by jjray on Apr 15, 2004 - 16 comments

The mathematician Anatoly Fomenko is one of a number of Russian academics advancing revisionist chronologies which portray a greatly foreshortened view of European history. He argues that mediaeval and classical histories as we know them today were fabricated in Renaissance times. In his book 'History: Fiction or Science', he 'proves' that Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086, and that the Old Testament refers to mediaeval events... Fomenko's theories have been debunked, but his ideas have nevertheless gained some currency in Russia: among his supporters is the former chess champion Garry Kasparov. Of course, Fomenko is by no means the first mathematician to grapple with the subject of chronology: indeed, any history must be founded in part on a calculus of dates... Are there any parallels, I wonder, between the spread of theories like Fomenko's and the renewed prevalence of Biblical chronologies in the US, for example: is there some kind of psychological solace in perceiving history on a smaller scale than current academic orthodoxy allows? (more inside).

posted by misteraitch on Mar 2, 2004 - 50 comments

posted by misteraitch on Mar 2, 2004 - 50 comments

Can't Get No Satisfaction - This unassuming essay (it's in a state of half-decay with missing figures) is a fascinating (and accessible) overview of phase transitions in NP systems (it explains those terms). In other words: complex physical systems and difficult problems in computing are related. The seminal paper is here, and this is a list of other essays by the same author (links at foot of page).

posted by andrew cooke on Feb 5, 2004 - 4 comments

posted by andrew cooke on Feb 5, 2004 - 4 comments

Cut the Knot. Interactive mathematics miscellany and puzzles.

posted by plep on Jan 6, 2004 - 8 comments

posted by plep on Jan 6, 2004 - 8 comments

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive from the University of St. Andrews' School of Mathematics and Statistics.

posted by wobh on Dec 30, 2003 - 3 comments

posted by wobh on Dec 30, 2003 - 3 comments

John von Neumann, 1903-1957. Today may have been the 100 year anniversary of the birth of John von Neumann (some think he may have been born on December 3rd). Along with Alan Turing and others, Von Neumann is one of the contenders for the title "Inventor of the modern computer." Whatever the precise date, it seems worth celebrating with some von Neumannania:
1,
10,
11,
100,
101,
110,
111,
1000,
1001.

posted by carter on Dec 28, 2003 - 10 comments

posted by carter on Dec 28, 2003 - 10 comments

Paul Erdös (pronounced Air-Dersh) was the most prolific mathematician of all time. He wrote almost 1500 papers with many others, leading to the creation of the Erdös number, connecting mathematicians to each other by way of their co-authored papers. Even a horse has an Erdös number of 3. He also had his own language - if a person had "left", they had died, but if they had "died", they had stopped doing mathematics.

posted by Orange Goblin on Nov 18, 2003 - 24 comments

posted by Orange Goblin on Nov 18, 2003 - 24 comments

Algorithmic Obscenity [maybe nsfw?] Who knew math could be this much fun? [via BoingBoing]

posted by srboisvert on Nov 15, 2003 - 5 comments

posted by srboisvert on Nov 15, 2003 - 5 comments

Fun with Fibonacci numbers. So you say you scored 130 on yesterday's IQ test, did ya?

posted by archimago on Oct 28, 2003 - 5 comments

posted by archimago on Oct 28, 2003 - 5 comments

Astonishing geometric art using only folded paper plates, from Bradford Hansen-Smith at wholemovement. View the gallery of fantastic polyhedral creations, and learn how to do it yourself. (For more fun with paper plates, see also Paper Plate Education: Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate.)

posted by taz on Oct 27, 2003 - 7 comments

posted by taz on Oct 27, 2003 - 7 comments

The colour of numbers - For the math geeks out there (which I'm not - maybe his theories will be shot down in flames), Karl Palmen has discovered that numbers can be assigned one of eight "colours", related to their prime factors. He goes on to show the interesting mathematical properties of these colours. A novel way of playing with numbers. Software is on offer.

posted by Jimbob on Aug 11, 2003 - 21 comments

posted by Jimbob on Aug 11, 2003 - 21 comments

The Lizzie Method : 16-year-old Elizabeth Seagle figured out a better way of factoring quadratic equations. What do the Me-Fi mathematicians think? Will it be taught in future textbooks? Personally, I never touch the stuff.

posted by bluno on Jul 9, 2003 - 72 comments

posted by bluno on Jul 9, 2003 - 72 comments

Walking Things is an environment that generates small, walking computational organisms. "Each walking thing is built up from totally random conditions. Appearance, behavior, and walking characteristics are all assigned from a range enabling effective, functional mobility. Click on a walking thing to permutate its characteristics".

Just one of the very many wonderful (open source) creations at levitated.net (more bugs with bling here). Kick off your shoes, fill your coffee cup or wine glass, and dip in.

posted by taz on Jul 2, 2003 - 12 comments

Just one of the very many wonderful (open source) creations at levitated.net (more bugs with bling here). Kick off your shoes, fill your coffee cup or wine glass, and dip in.

posted by taz on Jul 2, 2003 - 12 comments

13-year-old Gregory Robert Smith graduates from Randolph-Macon College this month. He has yet to find the vaccine for the brutal Atomic Wedgie.

posted by LexRockhard on Jun 1, 2003 - 35 comments

posted by LexRockhard on Jun 1, 2003 - 35 comments

'The Poincare Conjecture' Solved? "Dr Grigori Perelman, of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, claims to have proved the Poincare Conjecture, one of the most famous problems in mathematics. The Poincare Conjecture, an idea about three-dimensional objects, has haunted mathematicians for nearly a century. If it has been solved, the consequences will reverberate throughout geometry and physics."

Also of note is that Perelman's solution is only a benign side effect of his efforts toward defining all three-dimensional surfaces mathematically, which if successful would allow humanity to "produce a catalogue of all possible three-dimensional shapes in the Universe, meaning that [mankind] could ultimately describe the actual shape of the cosmos itself."

posted by eyebeam on May 8, 2003 - 13 comments

Also of note is that Perelman's solution is only a benign side effect of his efforts toward defining all three-dimensional surfaces mathematically, which if successful would allow humanity to "produce a catalogue of all possible three-dimensional shapes in the Universe, meaning that [mankind] could ultimately describe the actual shape of the cosmos itself."

posted by eyebeam on May 8, 2003 - 13 comments

A Hypercube is "*One of the simplest four-dimensional structures that we can imagine...*[Google cache]*. It is the four-dimensional analogue of an ordinary cube.*"

It's confusing, but Drew's words and pictures here will probably wrap your head around the concept. If you're already a Math-Head, you may find this more interesting, and it leads us to this fun interactive tesseract. Or you can draw your own.

Want*even more fun*?: This Hypercube is just out on video (in the US; 3/03 in the UK), this tesseract has been around since '62, and this one is has just been released.

[Yes, tesseracts & h-cubes were previously discussed here & even waaay back here.]

posted by Shane on May 8, 2003 - 23 comments

It's confusing, but Drew's words and pictures here will probably wrap your head around the concept. If you're already a Math-Head, you may find this more interesting, and it leads us to this fun interactive tesseract. Or you can draw your own.

Want

[Yes, tesseracts & h-cubes were previously discussed here & even waaay back here.]

posted by Shane on May 8, 2003 - 23 comments

planetmath.org. I'd say more but there's just too much here. Browse around.

posted by wobh on May 2, 2003 - 15 comments

posted by wobh on May 2, 2003 - 15 comments

For Great Justice. Man appeals to High Court of Australia to apply their jurisdiction to the laws of mathematics. Justice Kirby not amused.

posted by Bletch on Apr 7, 2003 - 17 comments

posted by Bletch on Apr 7, 2003 - 17 comments

Let the celebrations begin! According to the Chinese calendar, tomorrow begins the year 4700. The festivals and superstitions surround the celebration for the new year are fascinating in China as well as Korea. Which animal year were you born in and do you follow the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean zodiac? Finally, the mathematics behind the calendar are truly fascinating.

posted by Plunge on Jan 31, 2003 - 15 comments

posted by Plunge on Jan 31, 2003 - 15 comments

Do you have problems finding the cheapest flight? Well so do computers.

Carl de Marcken, the man who created the engine behind Orbitz and other travel search engines posits that finding the cheapest fare from one point to another is a NP-Hard problem. Even if you fix the specific route between destinations there can be as many as 10^{36} combinations.

posted by patrickje on Dec 9, 2002 - 18 comments

Carl de Marcken, the man who created the engine behind Orbitz and other travel search engines posits that finding the cheapest fare from one point to another is a NP-Hard problem. Even if you fix the specific route between destinations there can be as many as 10

posted by patrickje on Dec 9, 2002 - 18 comments