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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 Labels: Latest news
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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. This podcast is also available in an Labels: podcast
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May 12, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
## Gresham College: New Gresham Professor of GeometryProfessor 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
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May 6, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
It is common belief among teachers and parents that when teaching mathematical concepts, the best way to illustrate them is with 'real-world' examples. However, researchers at Ohio State University's Center for Cognitive Science have found the exact opposite — that college students taught a new mathematical concept with real-world, concrete examples were less able to apply their knowledge to new situations than students taught with abstract symbols. Read more...Labels: Latest news
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May 1, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
There are more grains of sand on Earth than there are stars in sky, or so the saying goes. Mathematician Anne Fey, from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is using sand-pile models as a novel approach to calculate probabilities in fields as diverse as studies of the Earth's crust, stock market fluctuations and the formation of traffic jams. Read more...Labels: Latest news
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April 30, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
## We're still safeNASA mathematicians are maintaining that the world is still safe from asteroids for the time being, despite the calculations of a young German student. The Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has not changed its current estimates for the very low probability (1 in 45,000) of an Earth impact by the asteroid Apophis in 2036. Contrary to recent press reports, NASA offices involved in near-Earth object research were not contacted and have had no correspondence with a young German student, who claims the Apophis impact probability is far higher than the current estimate. This student's conclusion reportedly is based on the possibility of a collision with an artificial satellite during the asteroid's close approach in April 2029. However, the asteroid will not pass near the main belt of geosynchronous satellites in 2029, and the chance of a collision with a satellite is exceedingly remote. Therefore, consideration of this satellite collision scenario does not affect the current impact probability estimate for Apophis, which remains at 1 in 45,000. This information is adapted from a NASA press release.
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