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Recently Emily Graslie, of the fantastic natural history tumblr and youtube series TheBrainScoop, was asked a question about whether she had personally experienced sexism in her field. Her response is fucking amazing.

posted by Blasdelb on Dec 6, 2013 - 37 comments

Inside is her goldmine of awesome female science educators online with channels that focus on Science Technology Engineering and Math. My work day is fucked.[more inside]

posted by Blasdelb on Dec 6, 2013 - 37 comments

Headlines from a Mathematically Literate World [more inside]

posted by Blasdelb on Dec 4, 2013 - 32 comments

posted by Blasdelb on Dec 4, 2013 - 32 comments

Closing in on the twin prime conjecture (Quanta) - "Just months after Zhang announced his result, Maynard has presented an independent proof that pushes the gap down to 600. A new Polymath project is in the planning stages, to try to combine the collaboration's techniques with Maynard's approach to push this bound even lower." [more inside]

posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2013 - 16 comments

posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2013 - 16 comments

Beijing and Amsterdam-based studio NEXT architects have won first place in a bridge design competition for Meixi Lake near the Changsha capital in Hunan, China. The shape was inspired by the Mobius Strip and Chinese knotting.

posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 14, 2013 - 17 comments

posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 14, 2013 - 17 comments

posted by jeffburdges on Nov 12, 2013 - 64 comments

"He calls this the Tao of Hawkeye. You can’t just have a database around Hawkeye, right? Not if you really want to understand Hawkeye over time. Because Hawkeye isn’t just Hawkeye. He’s also Ronin and Goliath and Clint Barton. Sometimes he’s dead. Oh, and by the way: he started as a villain. Who remembers that? -- Back in the eighties people like Mark Gruenwald and Peter Sanderson guarded Marvel Comics' continuity. These days Peter Olson tries to do the same for a much bigger Marvel using science and math.

posted by MartinWisse on Nov 4, 2013 - 62 comments

posted by MartinWisse on Nov 4, 2013 - 62 comments

The Washington Post reports on a ridiculous mathematics test for first graders administered under New York's Common Core standards initiative. [Common Core previously.]

posted by Westringia F. on Nov 1, 2013 - 197 comments

posted by Westringia F. on Nov 1, 2013 - 197 comments

io9 takes a look at why the number 1729 shows up in so many Futurama episodes. It's mathtastic!

posted by quin on Oct 16, 2013 - 36 comments

posted by quin on Oct 16, 2013 - 36 comments

Amaze Your Friends, Solve World Hunger; How to Create Chocolate out of Nothing! [slyt]

posted by quin on Oct 4, 2013 - 22 comments

posted by quin on Oct 4, 2013 - 22 comments

Walter Hickey at Business Insider looks at when you should buy a Powerball ticket and whether to take the lump sum or annuity if you win.

posted by reenum on Sep 28, 2013 - 50 comments

posted by reenum on Sep 28, 2013 - 50 comments

posted by mannequito on Sep 28, 2013 - 23 comments

Revelations in the field of quantum physics have resulted in the discovery of the Amplituhedron, a jewel-like higher dimensional object whose volume elegantly predicts fundamental physical processes that took the brilliant Dr. Richard Feynman hundreds of pages of abstruse mathematics to describe.
The theoretical manifold not only enables simple pen-and-paper calculation of physics that would normally require supercomputers to work out, but also challenges basic assumptions about the nature of reality -- forgoing the core concepts of locality and unitarity and suggesting that space and time are merely emergent properties of a timeless, infinitely-sided "master amplituhedron," whose geometry represents the sum total of all physical interactions.
**More:** The 152-page source paper on arXiv [PDF] - Lead author Nima Arkani-Hamed's hour-long lecture at SUSY 2013 - Scans of Arkani-Hamed's handwritten lecture notes - A far more detailed lecture series "Scattering Without Space Time": one, two, three - Arkani-Hamed previously on MeFi - A hot-off-the-presses Wikipedia page (watch this space)

posted by Rhaomi on Sep 18, 2013 - 128 comments

posted by Rhaomi on Sep 18, 2013 - 128 comments

If the NSA is able to break through banks' computer security, does that mean it solved the prime factorization problem? The New York Times reported recently that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.” Since banks' encryption codes rely on the fact that nobody knows how to find the prime factors of really large numbers, it could mean that the NSA has found a way to do that. Or it could mean that the NSA has simply gotten lots of banks to give up their information, or found other ways around their encryption. But if they've cracked this long-standing math problem, might the secret leak? What would be the effects?

posted by Sleeper on Sep 12, 2013 - 60 comments

posted by Sleeper on Sep 12, 2013 - 60 comments

The Movie Math Quiz: Can you figure out which movies are being described by these mathematical equations?

posted by schmod on Sep 10, 2013 - 13 comments

posted by schmod on Sep 10, 2013 - 13 comments

Wonkblog has a new advice column called "Dear Dylan" where Dylan Matthews answers the usual advice column staples using game theory, mathematics and charts.

posted by reenum on Aug 25, 2013 - 30 comments

posted by reenum on Aug 25, 2013 - 30 comments

5 Math experts split the check. From Math with Bad Drawings.

posted by zabuni on Aug 25, 2013 - 25 comments

posted by zabuni on Aug 25, 2013 - 25 comments

Paperscape is a searchable 2-dimensional visualization of the 800,000+ scientific papers (mostly in physics and math) on the arXiv preprint server.

posted by escabeche on Aug 18, 2013 - 20 comments

posted by escabeche on Aug 18, 2013 - 20 comments

This is a visualization of Beach Boys vocals inspired by the physics of church bells. Using a mathematical relationship between a the circumference of a circular surface and pitch, I wrote code that draws a circle for each note of the song. (Single Link Vimeo)

posted by Navelgazer on Aug 14, 2013 - 8 comments

posted by Navelgazer on Aug 14, 2013 - 8 comments

You Can't Do Simple Maths Under Pressure (autoplay music)

posted by slogger on Jul 12, 2013 - 38 comments

posted by slogger on Jul 12, 2013 - 38 comments

How To Fold a Julia Fractal. A beautiful interactive introduction to complex numbers, fractals and waves. (Requires WebGL). To Infinity And Beyond is a similar introduction to calculus.

posted by empath on Jul 11, 2013 - 33 comments

posted by empath on Jul 11, 2013 - 33 comments

This Simple Math Puzzle Will Melt Your Brain

"Adding and subtracting ones sounds simple, right? Not according to the old Italian mathematician Grandi—who showed that a simple addition of 1s and -1s can give three different answers."

posted by andoatnp on Jul 2, 2013 - 61 comments

"Adding and subtracting ones sounds simple, right? Not according to the old Italian mathematician Grandi—who showed that a simple addition of 1s and -1s can give three different answers."

posted by andoatnp on Jul 2, 2013 - 61 comments

posted by motty on Jun 27, 2013 - 42 comments

Is there any point to the 12 times table? [more inside]

posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Jun 27, 2013 - 159 comments

posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Jun 27, 2013 - 159 comments

How To Use Math To Crush Your Friends At Monopoly Like You've Never Done Before

posted by Renoroc on Jun 21, 2013 - 82 comments

posted by Renoroc on Jun 21, 2013 - 82 comments

Avogadro Project - The International Avogadro project relates the kilogram to the mass of a fixed number of atoms by measuring the number of atoms in a sphere of silicon.
I'll leave this here.

posted by hypersloth on Jun 8, 2013 - 26 comments

posted by hypersloth on Jun 8, 2013 - 26 comments

The series of Project Mathematics tapes regularly brought the house down at the annual SIGGRAPH video show; these mathematical animations were glowing jewels among the over-produced, techy-commercial animations usually shown at SIGGRAPH. -- Edward Tufte via edwardtufte.comI wonder where these jewels might be found ... [more inside]

posted by tarpin on May 23, 2013 - 8 comments

This afternoon, Yitang Zhang of the University of New Hampshire gave a special seminar at Harvard, in which he announced that he had proved that there are infinitely many pairs of prime numbers separated by no more than 70,000,000, a result differing only by a constant factor from the venerable twin prime conjecture. Dan Goldston, who together with Yildirim and Pintz made the last major advance on prime gaps, said, ""I was doubtful I would ever live to see this result." Not enough excitement for one day? Harald Helfgott has just posted to the arXiv a proof of the ternary Goldbach conjecture: every odd number is the sum of three primes.

posted by escabeche on May 13, 2013 - 54 comments

posted by escabeche on May 13, 2013 - 54 comments

In August of last year, mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki reported that he had solved one of the great puzzles of number theory: the ABC conjecture (previously on Metafilter). Almost a year later, no one else knows whether he has succeeded. No one can understand his proof.

posted by painquale on May 10, 2013 - 59 comments

posted by painquale on May 10, 2013 - 59 comments

Division of labor in child care: A game-theoretic approach The analysis shows that it is difficult to achieve the equilibrium of equal sharing of child care, even when this is the preference of the parents. This leads to a discussion of alterations and meta-strategies for couples who want to share care equally. Gender differences between parents are also modeled, including the impact these have on outcomes and equilibria.Full text PDF

posted by bq on May 6, 2013 - 14 comments

posted by bq on May 6, 2013 - 14 comments

"One might think that, once we know something is computable, how efficiently it can be computed is a practical question with little further philosophical importance. In this essay, I offer a detailed case that one would be wrong. In particular, I argue that computational complexity theory---the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems---leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate, computationalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest. I end by discussing aspects of complexity theory itself that could benefit from philosophical analysis."

posted by cthuljew on May 5, 2013 - 31 comments

Every Noise At Once. A map of musical genres, built by Glenn McDonald of The War Against Silence and the Echo Nest. Click on a genre name to hear a sound sample, or pop it open to see a map of bands within that genre.

posted by escabeche on Apr 30, 2013 - 51 comments

posted by escabeche on Apr 30, 2013 - 51 comments

Mathematicians Henry Segerman and Saul Schleimer have produced a triple gear, three linked gears in space that can rotate together. A short writeup of the topology and geometry behind the triple gear on the arXiv.

posted by escabeche on Apr 26, 2013 - 36 comments

posted by escabeche on Apr 26, 2013 - 36 comments

"Each prime number is represented by a bright, white square, whereas a non-prime ("composite") is grey. Visitors can select difference spatial arrangements of these numbers, ranging from several variants of the well-known Ulam Spiral, over the Archimedian spiral, to the more sophisticated 3D Hilbert curves." [more inside]

posted by jquinby on Apr 22, 2013 - 28 comments

posted by jquinby on Apr 22, 2013 - 28 comments

Do you need to know math to do science? Harvard professor emeritus E. O. Wilson says, "no." Jeremy Fox, an Associate Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Calgary disagrees.

posted by Obscure Reference on Apr 8, 2013 - 74 comments

posted by Obscure Reference on Apr 8, 2013 - 74 comments

The Circle Drawing Experiment. You've seen competitive circle drawing (previously). Now try your own hand (mouse?) at drawing a freehand circle. Bonus: cats.

posted by Wulfhere on Mar 27, 2013 - 57 comments

posted by Wulfhere on Mar 27, 2013 - 57 comments

Using computer systems for doing mathematical proofs - "With the proliferation of computer-assisted proofs that are all but impossible to check by hand, Hales thinks computers must become the judge." [more inside]

posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2013 - 25 comments

posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2013 - 25 comments

Three professors at Harvey Mudd College wanted to do something special to mark the final lecture of Math 40: Linear Algebra that their students could relate to. The result: they transformed themselves into The Three Directions and performed "That Makes It Invertible!" for their class, complete with choreography and bad math puns. (SLYT)

posted by zachlipton on Mar 14, 2013 - 27 comments

posted by zachlipton on Mar 14, 2013 - 27 comments

The facebook question that has everyone stirred up... I got 9. I am a fifty-one year old white guy. Did new math f-ck me up? [more inside]

posted by shockingbluamp on Mar 13, 2013 - 237 comments

posted by shockingbluamp on Mar 13, 2013 - 237 comments

Ahead of Pi Day (March 14), Matt Parker tries to accurately calculate pi using pies. [SLYT] An extended version of the video will be uploaded on Pi Day, but here's your chance to go out and buy pies before that.
(Video runs 3 minutes, 14 seconds.)

posted by Room 641-A on Mar 13, 2013 - 14 comments

posted by Room 641-A on Mar 13, 2013 - 14 comments

The origins of plus and minus signs - "There be other 2 signes in often use of which the first is made thus + and betokeneth more: the other is thus made – and betokeneth lesse."

posted by spbmp on Mar 12, 2013 - 30 comments

posted by spbmp on Mar 12, 2013 - 30 comments

Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]

posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2013 - 40 comments

posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2013 - 40 comments

Trippy animated GIFs generated by Mathematica code. via

posted by OmieWise on Feb 28, 2013 - 20 comments

posted by OmieWise on Feb 28, 2013 - 20 comments

Surely you've heard of the physicist Maxwell, but what about Oliver Heaviside? Oliver Heaviside: A first-rate oddity.

posted by Evernix on Feb 14, 2013 - 14 comments

posted by Evernix on Feb 14, 2013 - 14 comments

Henry Reich of Minute Physics shares his favorite science blogs, video channels, and other resources on the web. (Minute Physics previously) [more inside]

posted by ocherdraco on Feb 8, 2013 - 5 comments

posted by ocherdraco on Feb 8, 2013 - 5 comments

Tim Gowers has announced a series of arXiv overlay journals called the Episciences Project that aim to exclude existing publishers from research publication in mathematics. As arXiv overlays, the Episciences Project avoids the editing and typesetting costs that existing open-access journals pay for using article processing charges. The French Centre pour la Communication Scientifique Directe (CCSD) is backing the remaining expenses, such as developing the platform. [more inside]

posted by jeffburdges on Jan 19, 2013 - 11 comments

posted by jeffburdges on Jan 19, 2013 - 11 comments