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"What is...." from the Notices of the American Math Society

Each month, the Notices of the American Math Society runs a column called "What is...." which aims to explain an advanced mathematical concept in two pages, at a level accessible to a good undergrad math major. Armin Straub, a postdoc at Illinois, has collected them all in one place. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Feb 26, 2014 - 33 comments

Antimatter. It's out there.

A number of headlines have proclaimed the detection of "dark matter" today, but Science News has a more measured take. What we do know is that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer riding aboard the ISS has detected positrons at high energy. Some theorists suggests that dark matter collisions would generate these positrons, but dark matter annihilation should also produce antiprotons, gamma rays and radio waves, which have not yet been observed. Since dark matter is suspected to account for far more of the universe than ordinary matter, the AMS data is a tantalizing hint of what we might learn.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Apr 3, 2013 - 30 comments

Any yokel with a computer can have a college football ranking system

He is not the only one. Computer rankings are proliferating, said Kenneth Massey, a professor of math at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn., who has been ranking teams since 1995. “When I started, there were six or seven,” he said. “But every year, it gets bigger and bigger.” Massey currently tracks more than 100 college football rankings.

With so many competitors, what is the appeal of creating one’s own rankings?

“It’s kind of a nerdy hobby,” Massey said. “It combines sports with math and computers, three things that don’t ordinarily go together.” [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast on Dec 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Dating plants, dating kings, dating nearly everything

Research by an international team led by staff at the ORAU has mapped out an accurate chronology of the kings of ancient Egypt using radiocarbon analysis of short-lived plant remains from the region. The research has now been published in the journal Science (18 June, 2010). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jul 5, 2010 - 7 comments

Moving Remy in Harmony

Moving Remy in Harmony - Pixar's Use of Harmonic Functions. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 15, 2010 - 38 comments

Now the Musicologists Are Dangerous Too

"Dr. Nalini Ghuman {is} . . . a citizen of the United Kingdom and a professor of music at Mills College in Oakland, California. In August 2006 Dr. Ghuman was detained upon her return to the United States." And nobody knows why. [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Sep 18, 2007 - 123 comments

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