Plus Blog

April 29, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sexy maths

Hollywood has finally figured out what Plus has known for a long time: that maths is sexy.

Actor John Hurt believes maths has become "sexy". Hurt stars as a maths professor in the new film The Oxford Murders. In the film, Hurt and a graduate student played by Elijah Wood discover a series of murders linked by mathematical symbols.

Maths in the movies is not a new phenomena, with such films as Pi, Cube and A Beautiful Mind featuring mathematical concepts or mathematicians as characters. More recent films include this year's 21, in which Kevin Spacey plays a mathematics professor.

Hurt told the BBC World Service that: "I think there is something that has brought maths to the fore. I think probably because we live in a world with so many lies, and so much lack of truth, that it has become quite sexy to think of the one thing we have which is the only language that is truthful. There's no way of disproving that two plus two equals four, and therefore, take that to the ultimate, much more complicated areas, and you're dealing with something which is truthful."

You can read more about maths in the movies in the Plus articles:

posted by westius @ 10:22 AM

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April 24, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Solving London's Transport Problem

A new mathematical contest has just been announced by mathematical problem solving company eBourbaki. eBourbaki's mission is to solve the world's mathematical problems using contests to inspire innovation and creativity. They seek to help companies and organisations become more effective by facilitating creative mathematical solutions to optimisation problems by:

  • addressing some of today's greatest public-goods challenges,
  • encouraging mathematical talent by directing it towards relevant applied modelling problems,
  • improving mathematics engagement and education by working with teachers and professors to integrate eBourbaki contests into academic curricula,
  • and collaborating with clients to formulate soluble problems and then to interpret the solutions that grow out of contests for implementation.

The new contest is entitled Bicycles in London. London faces serious transportation challenges. With congestion charges on the rise and increased awareness of the environmental impact of many forms of commuting, cities are turning to bicycle stations to ease traffic, reduce pollution, improve parking, and enhance a green-friendly image. Last summer, Paris joined the ranks, instituting a city-wide network of high-tech low-cost rental bicycle stations. The contest asks the question: if London were to embrace this concept, how would it best go about doing so? Where should the bike stations go? How many bikes at each station?

The contest will run May 5-12 2008 and full contest details, including a detailed problem statement, will be available on the website at the start of the contest. Winning solutions will be presented to the Mayor of London with the hope that students' recommendations will guide the way to helping London become a more liveable environment. The winning team will receive a prize of £1000.

The competition is open to UK students only, and students of mathematics, computer science and engineering are encouraged to enter. Participation requires contestants to register with the eBourbaki. Stay tuned to the website for contest rules and guidelines.

posted by westius @ 2:27 PM

1 Comments:

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous dedy said...

nice article, thanks

 
April 23, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A mathematician from the University of East Anglia has turned his gaze to the stars to try and answer one of humankind's oldest questions — are we alone in the Universe? And the unfortunate answer is, well, probably.

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posted by Plus @ 5:40 PM

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At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its true?

 
April 18, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008

Edward Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist, died in his Cambridge Massachusetts home on April 16 aged 90. Lorenz was the "father of chaos theory" and discovered the Lorenz attractor that often occurs in chaotic systems.

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posted by westius @ 4:27 PM

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April 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Enigma machine was once considered unbreakable, and the cracking of the "unbreakable code" by the allies changed the course of World War 2. Plus talks to Nadia Baker from the Enigma Project about the history of codes and code-breaking, why the Enigma machine was considered unbreakable, the mathematics behind codes, and how it was finally cracked. The Enigma Project travels all over the United Kingdom and abroad, visiting over 100 schools and organisations, reaching over 12,000 people of all ages every year.

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posted by Plus @ 4:13 PM

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April 11, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008

Sixty-three year-old Avraham Trakhtman has solved one of the current generation's toughest mathematical problems — the 38 year-old road colouring problem. The solution will shortly be published in the Israel Journal of Mathematics.

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posted by Plus @ 3:11 PM

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