News from the world of maths: Post-Valentine's mathematical love

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Post-Valentine's mathematical love

We're not sure if they've got Internet access on cloud 9, but for all the loved-up Valentines out there, as well as for those who are wondering what has gone wrong, here are some mathematical musings on love...

  • Is your relationship like a convergent series? Victoria Gould and Marcus du Sautoy discuss this and other mathematical metaphors for the human condition in our latest career interview (podcast) and article on the Complicite production A disappearing number (podcast).
  • What's your strategy for love? Hold out for The One, or try and avoid the bad ones? How long should you wait before cutting your losses and settling down with whoever comes along next? Let statistics help you live happily ever after by reading Kissing the frog: A mathematician's guide to mating.
  • We all know that love's a gamble. Delve into the application of game theory to love and find out if it's worth buying that expensive present after all.
  • There are not many concepts that are fundamental to both maths and sex, but symmetry is one of them. In maths the study of symmetry forms the basis of a vast field called group theory and can be exploited to understand the patterns inherent in nature and the abstract world. Scientists have long suspected that the symmetry of a person or animal's body is an indicator of health and strength and therefore desirability as a potential mate. So does it make us more attractive?
  • And finally, does the Golden Ratio really have anything to do with beauty?

And to make sure that your special someone doesn't forget you, how about a mathematical serenade...

posted by Plus @ 10:45 AM


  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.