mathematics

Watch: The Mathematical Problems Inherent in Secret Santa

...And how to solve them.... READ ON

6 Math Concepts Explained by Knitting and Crochet

Knit 1, chain 2, master hyperbolic planes.... READ ON

15 Observational Facts About Isaac Newton

6. That "shoulders of giants" thing was actually an insult.... READ ON

How the Perfect Pancake Recipe May Help Us Treat Glaucoma

These researchers tested 14 recipes in the name of science.... READ ON

How They Found the World's Biggest Prime Number

Here's how mathematicians test numbers to see if they're prime.... READ ON

Ancient Babylonians Used Geometry to Track the Planets

Calculations etched onto four stone tablets change the timeline of astronomy.... READ ON

Funky Chicken Walk Can Indicate a Sick Bird

Why did the chicken cross the pen? No, seriously. That’s a legitimate scientific question.... READ ON

Vampires and Humans Could Never Coexist, Because Math

Scientists have done the calculations and it doesn't look good for us.... READ ON

Ada Lovelace: The First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace has been called the world's first computer programmer. What she did was write the world’s first machine algorithm for an early computing machine that existed only on paper.... READ ON

6 Terrific Tattoos On Teachers

While we’ve seen librarians and scientists with tattoos, there is still a bit of a stigma against teachers coming into school with full sleeves of ink.... READ ON

The Basics of Parallel Universe Hypotheses

11 Great Geeky Math Tattoos

The Only Math Museum in the U.S. Just Opened

Math has been intimidating and worrying students (and their parents) since humans starting adding and subtracting. But the people behind MoMath—the only museum devoted to math in the United States—want to change the perception that math is boring and scary. "We want to show a different side of mathematics," co-founder Cindy Lawrence tells New Scientist. "Our goal is to get kids excited, and show them the math they're doing in school is just one tree in a whole huge... READ ON

12 Mind Blowing Number Systems From Other Languages

Today is a big day for lovers of the number 12, and no one loves 12s more than the members of the Dozenal Society. The Dozenal Society advocates for ditching the base-10 system we use for counting in favor of a base-12 system. Because 12 is cleanly divisible by more factors than 10 is (1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 vs. 1, 2, 5 and 10), such a system would neaten up our mathematical lives in various ways. But a dozenal system would require us to change our number words so that, for example, what we know as 20 would... READ ON

Understanding the Monty Hall Problem

The Monty Hall problem is a logic puzzle named for the host of the gameshow Let's Make a Deal. It's one of my favorite such problems, because it's an example of math completely contradicting my gut instinct. Even though I know the math says to do one thing, my gut consistently says the other -- and thus every time the problem is explained, I get a little window into my fallible human brain. In fact, I used to be so tied to my gut on this one that I would fail to explain the Monty Hall problem correctly... READ ON

Kryptos: The CIA Cipher Hiding in Plain Sight

Kryptos photo via Wikimedia Commons
Kryptos is an encrypted sculpture installed at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It's a set of huge copper plates with enciphered text carved into them -- for example, one segment reads TWTQSJQSSEKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFBNYP, though it looks a lot nicer in context.
Although the sculpture was installed in 1990, it took until 1999 for someone to actually decrypt part of the message: of the four segments of text, three were decrypted (complete with intentional... READ ON

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