Plus Blog

May 20, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More movies and maths

Maths in the movies is obviously in vogue these days.

The following video comes from Triple J in Australia, and is a nice summation of how maths has been used as a tool for plot development over the years.

Thanks to Marc Fennell, the host of the show, for the permissions.

posted by westius @ 3:35 PM

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May 19, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008

Clifton Callender from Florida State University, Ian Quinn from Yale University and Dmitri Tymoczko from Princeton University — all professors of music — have developed a new method of analysing music called "geometrical music theory" that is based on the mathematics entangled in the structure of music.

Read more...

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posted by westius @ 10:36 AM

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May 19, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008

The return of More or Less

Betting on science, The Simpsons and how maths keeps aircraft apart — More or Less returns to BBC Radio 4 from 4.30pm on Mondays.

Among the stories featured in the latest series presented by Tim Harford will be the tax-free phenomenon of spread betting, how some scientists are making money by betting on their own theories being proven correct, and how air traffic scheduling relies on mathematics to function and bring aircraft safely into land.

Later in the series will be a round-table discussion featuring the Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, Vince Cable MP and Fraser Nelson, political editor of The Spectator, about how numbers influence politics and policies and how they are often the most important part of the story. There will also be an exclusive interview with Al Jean, head writer and executive producer of The Simpsons and Harvard maths graduate, on his love of numbers and how to constantly get good numeracy jokes into the world's longest running sitcom.

See the More or Less website for more information.

posted by westius @ 10:56 AM

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May 15, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walter Warwick Sawyer was a mathematician and author who made a major contribution to mathematical education. He recently passed away in Canada, aged 96. He was very much concerned with the practical applications of mathematics and considered that students taught mathematics without an appreciation of its application would have no more understanding of what they were learning than a machine. His love of mathematics is seen in the title of his first book, the highly acclaimed Mathematician's Delight, whose aim was to "dispel the fear of mathematics".

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posted by westius @ 2:26 PM

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May 15, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008

From the complexity of the snowflake, to the London tube map and the spiralling Andromeda galaxy, imagery has always been a vitally important ingredient of science. Plus talks to John Barrow, professor of mathematics at Cambridge University and author of the new book Cosmic Imagery, about the images that have changed science, and how we have viewed science, over the centuries.

Hear more...

This podcast is also available in an enhanced version, which shows all the images mentioned in this podcast as you listen. You can view the enhanced podcast in your browser, or download the MP4 file to to your computer and for playing on your MP4 player (for example iPod).

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posted by Plus @ 3:53 PM

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May 12, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008

Gresham College: New Gresham Professor of Geometry

Professor John Barrow FRS, the Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project and Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University, has been appointed the new Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College in London for 2008-2011. Founded in 1596, this is the oldest mathematics professorship in the UK and previous holders include Isaac Barrow, Robert Hooke, and Roger Penrose. John Barrow was Gresham Professor of Astronomy from 2003-7 and is the only person other than Laurence Rooke, in 1657, to hold Gresham chairs in two different subjects.

Read John's Outer space column in Plus.

posted by westius @ 7:59 AM

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