Calling all sports fans and calling all maths fans. Tomorrow at 1pm John D. Barrow, cosmologist, best-selling author and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project (the home of Plus), will be starting a lecture series on maths and sport at Gresham College in London. The first lecture is entitled How fast can Usain Bolt run? and there'll be five more lectures until the end of March, looking at Olympic sports from rowing to jumping. All lectures are free. Visit the Gresham College website for more information. If you can't make it to the talk, a video will be posted on the Gresham website a few days after it's happened.
Have you ever wondered what string theory sounds and looks like? If yes, you can find out this weekend at Queen Mary, University of London. Musicians Anna Piva and Edward George, in collaboration with physicist and Plus author David Berman and mathematical physicist James Sparks are developing Explorations in Eleven Dimensions, a multimedia art project based on a series of sonic, visual, and textual readings of string theory's equations, themes and aesthetic concerns.
The performances will be based on the sonification of David Berman's string theory equations and a series explorations of frequency and micro-tonality in the work of Bach and Debussy with James Sparks.
Flow Motion will be joined for the performance by a quartet of musicians from London's classical and improvised music scene: Alison Blunt (violin), Chris Cullen (flute, saxophone), Grahame Painting (cello, guitar), Mark Sanders (drums).
The first component of the project, a series of sound art performances, will take place at Queen Mary's Octagon room on the 5th and 6th of November 2011, at 7.30pm. See here for more information and here for directions.
Next year sees the centenary of Alan Turing's birth. To celebrate, the Mathscareers website is running a competition for 17 to 19 year-olds. Your task is to write an article on Turing's work and the prize is £100 Amazon voucher and having your article published on the website. See the Mathscareers website for more details.
To get started, have a look at these articles on Plus:
Thomas Sargent (top) and Christopher Sims.
With European governments struggling to avert imminent disaster in the Euro zone, the award of this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences could not be more relevant. The prize has gone to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims whose work explores how and if policy decisions can affect the economy and how unexpected shocks spread through it.
Maths and stats are central to economics and finance — so to celebrate their role we've had a look through our archive for our favourite articles on the subject. Who knows? Maybe they'll help save the Euro!
- Adam Smith and the invisible hand: a game theoretical look at Smith's famous invisible hand mechanism.
- What is financial mathematics?
- How maths killed Lehman Brothers
- Is maths to blame? a look at the credit crunch
- A risky business: How to price derivatives
- Rogue trading: more on derivatives
- What can birds tell us about flying through ash clouds?
- Leaving the markets: the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics shows that it's not all about the markets.
- The economics of health: what makes value for money in medicine?
- Game theory wins Nobel Prize: the 2005 Prize went for work on conflict and cooperation
- Career interview: Financial engineer
- Career interview: Financial maths course director
We have a new favourite joke, thanks to Plus reader, Ellen Hetland Fenwick!
A countably infinite number of men went into a pub. The first one ordered a pint. The second ordered a half-pint. The third ordered a quarter of a pint ... The barkeeper, with a face full of disgust, finally poured two pints and put them on the bar and said, "It's good when people know their limit."
Ada Lovelace, aged about 19
Today is Ada Lovelace Day celebrating the work of women in mathematics, science, technology and engineering. Since Plus is run entirely by women, we're very happy to join in! We've got plenty of articles and podcast by or about women mathematicians to choose from on Plus and here are some of our favourites.
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.
Articles by mathematical heroines from the present:
- Colva Roney-Dougal on the power of groups
- Carola Schönlieb on digital image restoration
- Caroline Series on Non-Euclidean geometry and Indra's pearls
- Carla Farsi on mathematics and art
- Josefina Alvarez on Google's search algorithm
- Helen Joyce, former Plus editor, talks about her job as Brazil correspondent for the Economist
- Joan Lasenby on maths and computer generated movies
- Abigail Kirk on Euler's polyhedron formula
Some conversations 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.
Also, our Careers library has plenty of interviews with women who've built their careers on maths.