It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts. At least, that's what the Olympic creed would have us believe. But, like it or not, what the media and governments focus on is the tally of gold medals. This article explores some of the maths of gold.
Dengue fever does the opposite of what you might expect. Unlike for many diseases, if you've had this tropical virus and recovered, you might be worse off, as a second exposure to the dengue virus can be life threatening. So keeping track of the strains of the diseases is an important problem which can be solved with the help of a little randomness.
We know that applying a force to a bone during its development can influence its growth and shape. But can we use our understanding of how developing bone reacts to mechanical forces to help people suffering from diseases that lead to bone deformities?
Foraging ants have a hard life, embarking on long and arduous trips several times a day, until they drop dead from exhaustion. The trips are not just long, they also follow complex zig-zag paths. So how do ants manage to find their way back home? And how do they manage to do so along a straight line? Their secret lies in a little geometry.
This is the second in a series of two articles in which Ian Short looks at topology using topographical features of maps. Find out about Jordan curves and winding numbers with the help of hermits, lighthouses and drunken sailors.
Table tennis first became an Olympic sport in 1988, but changed its scoring system in 2001 to make matches more exciting for spectators. But how does the new system compare to the old one in terms of your chances of winning?