Mathematics

Gesturing is a powerful tool for children’s math learning

Children who use their hands to gesture during a math lesson gain a much deeper understanding of the concepts and methods discussed, according to new research from University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology. It’s already a pretty much accepted fact that gesturing accentuates children learning – it was already established by several studies that gestures […]

Making Asimov proud: New algorithm can detect where atrocities will occur

If you’re a sci-fi geek like me, you’ve most likely read at least a few Asimov novels, and you know what psychohistory is – a fictional science which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people. Now, researchers have made important steps towards […]

Perpetual motion machines still an impossibility – even in the quantum world

New research shows that negative absolute temperatures and perpetual motion machines are still out of reach, no matter how you tackle it, and no matter how small you try to make it. The concept of a perpetual motion machine has been an enticing one since it was first thought of. Unfortunately, it’s doomed to fail […]

Practice, not talent, makes you good at math

A recent study from  the Norwegian University of Science and Technology aims to overthrow the long standing assumption that being good at most forms of math is an innate ability. The researchers found that if you want to be good at multiple types of mathematics, you need to practice them all since relying on one good […]

Polynesian people used binary numbers 600 years ago, way before Leibnitz

Binary arithmetic, the basis of all virtually digital computation today, is usually said to have been invented at the start of the eighteenth century by the German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz. But a new study shows that the system might have actually been invented way before that, in the 1400s, by people of the tiny Pacific […]

Predicting pandemic outbreaks by looking at air traffic

The world is getting smaller by the day, as fixed geographical distances become easier and more accessible for the common folk to travel. What this means is that a lot of things change as well, including the day diseases are carrier and spread throughout the world. Only a century ago, the number one mean of […]

The Formula that Could Destroy Chess Forever

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and India’s Viswanathan Anand are duking it out in the world championship, apparently, without anyone else contesting their supremacy. But as insanely good as they are, they still can’t stand up to the best computers today. As a matter of fact, there is one theory which, if proven, could pretty much spoil […]

Mathematical equation helps predict calamities, financial crashes or epilepsy seizures

In science we have what are called “laws”, be them Newton’s Laws of Motion or Archimedes’ Principle, because these mathematical expressions describe systems in a rigid set of boundaries, essentially helping predict how these systems will behave in the future. What about overly complex, highly dynamic systems; could we use a single mathematical equation to […]

Physicists net fractal butterfly which explains electron behaviour

What you’re seeing above is the Hofstadter’s butterfly – a mathematical object describing the theorised behaviour of electrons in a strong magnetic field. It took physicists 40 years, but they have finally found experimental evidence that the model, proposed in 1976 by Douglas Hofstadter is valid. Thing is, to catch this kind of fractal butterfly, […]

Cited paper suggesting a ‘ratio for a good life’ exposed as nonsense by amateur psychologist

A 52-year-old, part-time graduate student with no previous training in psychology and little training in math aside from high-school has discredited a very cited paper published in 2005 in American Psychologist. The paper, then written by Barbara Fredrickson and Marcial Losada suggested a mathematical ratio between positivity and happiness, claiming that humans thrive when ratio […]

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