Mathematics

Iranian is the first woman to win prestigious math award

Maryam Mirzakhani, who was born and raised in Iran, has been awarded the highest honour a mathematician can attain: the Fields Medal. It’s one of those moments which will go down in history – for the first time in almos 80 years, a woman has won the Fields Medal (officially known as the International Medal […]

The road to happiness is paved with many surprises

Sometimes, we go through situations thinking when we reach the end of the road the outcome will feel gloom. But sometimes, the exact opposite happens and we're flooded with absolute joy, the kind of which we couldn't have experienced were we to expect that outcome. In a word, this is called surprise.

Mathematical equation predicts happiness

Scientists successfully predicted human happiness using a mathematical equation - you too can use the smartphone app they developed and be a part of the experiment.

If you fold an A4 sheet of paper 103 times its thickness will roughly be the size of the Universe

Whaaaat? It’s just a matter of math, really. Fold an A4 once and it will be twice as thick, fold it again and it will be four times as thick as it initially was. Turns out, according to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, if you do this 103 times the sheet’s thickness will be larger than the observable Universe: […]

These architectural wonders were built by robots

University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) is a state of the art research facility that seeks to solve complex structural problems by mimicking nature. Every year, the institute demonstrates how natural biological constructions can be used to solve design problems by building a new research wing. The results are nothing short of breath taking. […]

Invisibility cloak could help protect cities from earthquakes

French researchers say they are close to developing seismic ‘invisibility cloaks’ which would cancel out potentially hazardous earthquake shockwaves, protecting key buildings or even entire cities. Nuclear power plants especially, and potentially entire cities could be cloaked using this technology – if the researchers’ theories are true (which seems highly likely). They believe that by drilling boreholes […]

Monkeys can do math, study proves

It’s long been supposed that monkeys are capable of mental arithmetics, but it was only recently that this was proven for a fact by neuroscientists at the Margaret Livingstone of Harvard Medical School in Boston. The researchers taught three rhesus macaques to identify symbols representing the numbers zero to 25, then when given the choice […]

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 […]

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