List by Author: Phil Wilson

The philosophy of applied mathematics

We all take for granted that mathematics can be used to describe the world, but when you think about it this fact is rather stunning. This article explores what the applicability of maths says about the various branches of mathematical philosophy.

Constructive mathematicsIf you like mathematics because things are either true or false, then you'll be worried to hear that in some quarters this basic concept is hotly disputed. In this article Phil Wilson looks at constructivist mathematics, which holds that some things are neither true, nor false, nor anything in between.
Frugal nature: Euler and the calculus of variationsPhil Wilson continues our series on the life and work of Leonhard Euler, who would have turned 300 this year. This article looks at the calculus of variations and a mysterious law of nature that has caused some scientists to reach out for god.
Graphical methods I: Slug warsTo arm or to disarm? This is the question in Phil Wilson's article, which explores the maths behind a cold war in slug world.
Mathematics for aliensIt has often been observed that mathematics is astonishingly effective as a tool for understanding the universe. But, asks Phil Wilson, why should this be? Is mathematics a universal truth, and how would we tell?
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