## Plus Blog

December 9, 2012
We love the Math/Maths podcast! It's a conversation about mathematics between the UK and USA from Pulse-Project.org. Peter Rowlett in Nottingham calls Samuel Hansen in Las Vegas to chat about the math and maths that has been in the news, that they've noticed and that has happened to them. Listen to the Math/Maths podcast! |

December 8, 2012
Some mathematical heroines from the past: - Ada Lovelace - visions of today
- Florence Nightingale: The compassionate statistician
- Against the odds — an article on Emmy Noether
- Female struggle — introducing four pioneering female mathematicians.
Some present-day mathematical heroines from our careers library: - Marta Sanz-Solé: President of the European Mathematical Society
- Helen Joyce: Brazil correspondent, The Economist
- Sandy Black: Fashion designer
- Victoria Gould: Actor and mathematician
- Emily Poskett: Government statistician
- Tanya Morton: Application engineering manager, MathWorks
- Claudia Centazzo: Business development manager
Articles by and about mathematical heroines from the present: - Supergravity to the rescue? Meet Renata Kallosh (you can also listen to this interview as a podcast)
- Colva Roney-Dougal on the power of groups
- Carola Schönlieb on digital image restoration
- Sara Garner on evaluating medical treatments
- Caroline Series on Non-Euclidean geometry and Indra's pearls
- Janna Levin on the topology and the Universe
- Carla Farsi on mathematics and art
- Josefina Alvarez on Google's search algorithm
- Joan Lasenby on maths and computer generated movies
- Abigail Kirk on Euler's polyhedron formula
You can listen to some conversations we've had with female mathematicians about their careers and roles in mathematics (these are podcasts): *Plus*at the International Conference of Women Mathematicians — interviews with female mathematicians from around the world who attended the ICWM in India in 2010.- European women in mathematics — interviews with delegates of the European Women in Mathematics conference which took place in Cambridge in 2007.
And you can find out more about mathematical heroines past and present at the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive and from Agnes Scott College. |

December 7, 2012
Mathematics and silliness is the speciality of James Grime, mathematician, juggler and comedy nerd (though not necessarily in that order). From zombie maths to post-it note dodecahedra: it's all on his YouTube channel. Here's one of his puzzles for a taster: |

December 6, 2012
Counting calories — Struggling with that new year's resolution to lose a few pounds? Weight not dropping off as fast as you'd expected? A new mathematical model has some good news and some bad news for you. Which would you like to hear first? Rubber data — Data, data, data. 21st century life provides tons of it. It's paradise for researchers, or at least it would be if we knew how to make sense of it all. This year's AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver devoted plenty of time to the question of how to understand large amounts of data. And there's one method we particularly liked. It's based on the kind of idea that gave us the London tube map. Counting deaths: war as a statistical problem — How many people died? It's one of the first questions asked in a war or violent conflict, but it's one of the hardest to answer. In the chaos of war many deaths go unrecorded and all sides have an interest in distorting the figures. The best we can do is come up with estimates, but the trouble is that different statistical methods for doing this can produce vastly different results . So how do we know how different methods compare? The podcast: AAAS meeting day 1 —
From flattening the Earth to dining with the jellyfish, The podcast: AAAS meeting day 2 — On the second day at the meeting we talked to Marcel Babin from the Université Laval. Babin uses satellite images to measure the amount of organisms, such as phytoplankton, in the Arctic ocean and studies how this changing biological diversity can both indicate, and impact on, climate change. Probing the dark web: the podcast — Networks loomed large at the AAAS annual meeting in Vancouver, in particular the one you're looking at right now: the Internet. |

December 5, 2012
We love The mystery of altruism — If evolution is a process of survival of the fittest, then why do we find altruistic acts wherever we look in nature? Here on Accelerating the pace of science: interview with CERN's Rolf Heuer — CERN is not just the world's largest particle physics laboratory. As its director general, Rolf Heuer, explains, "CERN is a role model, demonstrating that science can bridge cultures and nations. Science is a universal language and this is what we speak at CERN." The new definition of crystals, or how to win a Nobel Prize — Why is symmetry so central to the understanding of crystals? And why did 'forbidden' symmetry change the definition of crystals themselves? Weighing up the evidence: what is a kilo? — We all know what a kilogram is. Or do we? Researchers worldwide are working to define precisely what this familiar unit is. |

December 4, 2012
Maths is now an integral part in the study of evolution, describing how mutation and natural selection affect a reproducing population. And now maths has shown that it if you want to get ahead in the evolutionary race, it really does pay to be nice. We were lucky enough to visit the other Cambridge earlier this year to interview Professor Martin Nowak about the mathematics of altruism. Does it pay to be nice? – the maths of altruism part i — Does it pay to be nice? Yes, it does. And we're not just talking about that warm fuzzy feeling inside, it pays in evolutionary terms of genetic success too. We talk to Martin Nowak about how the mathematics of evolution prove that being nice is unavoidable. Does it pay to be nice? – the maths of altruism part ii — It does pay to be nice if you repeatedly deal with the same person. Martin Nowak explains why cooperation also wins in matters of reputation, neighbourliness and family. But can evolutionary game theory save the world? Does it pay to be clever? — Why are we so clever? In evolutionary terms this isn't obvious: evolution tends to favour cheap solutions and the human brain is expensive. It consumes about 20% of our body's energy budget yet it only makes up 2% of our body mass. So why did it make evolutionary sense for us humans to develop powerful brains? Game theory provides a possible answer. |