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December 1, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
What do the human brain, the Internet and climate change have in common? They're all hugely complex, and while they're very different, the tools used to grapple with this complexity are likely to be similar. We visited the This podcast accompanies the article Catching terrorists with maths. Labels: podcast
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December 1, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
The recent news of the great Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar surpassing West Indian Brian Lara's record number of test runs has given maths-loving cricket geeks another opportunity to pull out their calculators and Excel spreadsheets. Marc West is openly one of these nuts and did just that. Labels: sports
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November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It may come as a surprise that your average proof in an academic journal is riddled with holes. Authors gloss over details, appeal to pictures, even intuition, and take hidden leaps of logical faith that, philosophically speaking, aren't entirely justified. These days mathematics contains proofs so long and complex that few people are able to check and understand them in full, yet once a result has made it through the peer review process and into a journal, its truth is taken as read. All this is a far cry from the mathematical dream which started with Euclid over 2000 years ago: that every mathematical statement should be derived from the very axioms of mathematics in a sequence of verifiable logical steps. Proofs which do this are known as Labels: Latest news
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November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
## Say cheese! First ever images of exoplanets.Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet orbiting another star. Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, the planet, called In a separate development, Canadian scientists have used ground-based telescopes in Hawaii and Chile to take infrared images of three giant planets they believe are orbiting a star about 130 light-years away in the Pegasus constellation. These are not the first examples of To find out more about the new discovery, and see more images and videos, visit the Hubble Site. There is more information on exoplanets in general on physicsworld.com and in the
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November 18, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
According to media reports there are two suspects in the dock: the rocket scientists' (a.k.a. the financial mathematicians) who provided the information behind the market's decisions, or the greedy bankers who only thought about quick profits and their end-of-year bonuses. In our latest podcast, we talk to David Hand, Chris Rogers and John Coates to find out who is guilty. This podcast accompanies the article Is maths to blame? Labels: podcast
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November 13, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
## What does zero and infinity mean to you?Zero, and infinity — more than just numbers, these two mathematical concepts have worried and inspired mathematicians for centuries. But they have also inspired philosophers and artists. What is zero? What is infinity? What do they look like: A black hole or a blank page? A spiral or the horizon? Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, historian of mathematics Eleanor Robson, Science Museum curator Jane Wess and artist Paul Prudence will be discussing Zero to Infinity at the Dana Centre in London. You can hear their perspectives, take part in the discussion, and have a drink at the bar on Thursday 20 November at 7pm. For further information visit the Dana Centre website. And while you're waiting, you can read more about infinity on We'll see you there!
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