49
https://plus.maths.org/content/issue/issue/49
enA risky business: how to price derivatives
https://plus.maths.org/content/risky-business-how-price-derivatives
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Angus Brown </div>
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In the light of recent events, it may appear that attempting to model the behaviour of financial markets is an impossible task. However, there are mathematical models of financial processes that, when applied correctly, have proved remarkably effective. <b>Angus Brown</b> looks at one of these, a simple model for option pricing, and explains how it takes us on the road to the famous Black-Scholes
equation of financial mathematics, which won its discoverers the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<p><i>In the light of recent events, it may appear that attempting to model the behaviour of financial markets is an impossible task. However, there are mathematical models of financial processes that, when applied correctly, have proved remarkably effective. In this article we look at one of these, a simple model for option pricing, and see how it takes us on the road to the famous Black-Scholes
equation of financial mathematics, which won its discoverers the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics.</i></p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/risky-business-how-price-derivatives" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/risky-business-how-price-derivatives#comments49Black-Scholes equationdifferential equationfinancial mathematicsfinancial modellingoptionMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2344 at https://plus.maths.org/content'The symmetries of things'
https://plus.maths.org/content/symmetries-things
<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<h2>The symmetries of things</h2>
<h3>by John H Conway, Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss</h3>
<p>Symmetry abounds: the wallpaper, your chair, even your own body. Familiar types of symmetry include reflection in a line and rotation about a point.<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/symmetries-things" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/symmetries-things#comments49book reviewMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin3161 at https://plus.maths.org/content'Universe of stone'
https://plus.maths.org/content/universe-stone
<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<h2>Universe of stone: Chartres cathedral and the triumph of the medieval mind</h2>
<h3>by Philip Ball</h3>
<p>If you are interested in how medieval cathedrals came into being, and the mathematics associated with their architecture and construction, then this book is for you!<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/universe-stone" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/universe-stone#comments49book reviewMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin3160 at https://plus.maths.org/content'Origami, Eleusis and the Soma Cube'
https://plus.maths.org/content/origami-eleusis-and-soma-cube
<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<h2>Origami, Eleusis and the Soma Cube: Martin Gardner's mathematical diversions</h2>
<h3>by Martin Gardner</h3>
<p>I would guess that, even a decade ago, the phrase "mathematical recreation" would have been considered a contradiction in terms.<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/origami-eleusis-and-soma-cube" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/origami-eleusis-and-soma-cube#comments49book reviewMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin3159 at https://plus.maths.org/content'Is God a mathematician?'
https://plus.maths.org/content/god-mathematician
<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<h2>Is God a mathematician?</h2>
<h3>by Mario Livio</h3>
<p>"Oh god, I hope not," was the reaction of a student when Livio asked the title question at a lecture, and it's a reaction that's likely to be replicated by many unsuspecting bookshop browsers.<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/god-mathematician" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/god-mathematician#comments49book reviewMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin3158 at https://plus.maths.org/contentPuzzle page
https://plus.maths.org/content/puzzle-page-87
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The coloured hat exam
Three students have been put in detention by their evil maths teacher, Mr Chalk. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<h2>The coloured hat exam</h2>
<p><i>This puzzle was kindly provided by <a href="#chris">Christopher Dowden</a>.</i></p><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-sol-link">
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Solution link: </div>
<a href="/content/puzzle-page-91">Coloured hat exam solution</a> </div>
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<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/puzzle-page-87" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/puzzle-page-87#comments49puzzleMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2946 at https://plus.maths.org/contentPlus Magazine
https://plus.maths.org/content/plus-magazine-59
<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/plus-magazine-59" target="_blank">read more</a></p>49editorialMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin5151 at https://plus.maths.org/contentTeacher package: Prime numbers
https://plus.maths.org/content/teacher-package-prime-numbers
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So basic, yet so tricky: prime numbers are the atoms among natural numbers and lie at the centre of some of the most difficult open problems in maths. This package brings together all material we have on primes, from prime number algorithms to new discoveries. And you will find out what all that's got to do with David Beckham. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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What do you think?
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This is the second package in a new series for <i>Plus</i>, and we'd be very pleased to hear what our readers think. So if you are teacher, a student or any other interested <i>Plus</i> reader with thoughts on this new series, then
please </p><p>
Thank you!
</p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/teacher-package-prime-numbers" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/teacher-package-prime-numbers#comments49teacher packageMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin4339 at https://plus.maths.org/contentCareer interview: Actor and mathematician
https://plus.maths.org/content/career-interview-actor-and-mathematician
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<p><i>A version of this interview is available as a <a href="/podcasts/PlusCareersPodcastDec08.mp3">podcast</a>.</i></p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/career-interview-actor-and-mathematician" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/career-interview-actor-and-mathematician#comments49Arts & Entertainmentcareer interviewconvergencehardyHealth & Societyinfinite seriesmathematics and artmathematics and theatremathematics educationpartitionsramanujanRiemann zeta functionMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2438 at https://plus.maths.org/contentUnderstanding uncertainty: What was the probability of Obama winning?
https://plus.maths.org/content/understanding-uncertainty-what-was-probability-obama-winning
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David Spiegelhalter </div>
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<p>This may seem like an odd question — after all, he’s won — but it opens up some deep philosophical issues surrounding probability. <strong>David Spiegelhalter</strong> investigates how probability can be defined.</p>
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<div align="center" style="margin-right:auto;margin-left:auto;width:600; font-size:15; border: #9a7a9f 2px solid; padding:5px;">This article is adapted from material soon to appear on the <a href="http://understandinguncertainty.org/">Understanding Uncertainty website</a>.</div>
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<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/understanding-uncertainty-what-was-probability-obama-winning" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/understanding-uncertainty-what-was-probability-obama-winning#comments49Bayesian modelCMSeditorialelectionfrequencyprobabilitystatisticsunderstanding uncertaintyMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin5152 at https://plus.maths.org/contentChaos, chance and money
https://plus.maths.org/content/chaos-chance-and-money
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Colva Roney-Dougal </div>
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With the credit crunch dominating the news, columnists have been wailing about "chaos in the markets", and "turbulent" share prices. But what does move the markets? Are they deterministic, or a result of chance? <b>Colva Roney-Dougal</b> explores the maths, from chaos to group theory. </div>
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<p><i>This essay is part of Next Generation Thinkers, commissioned by BBC Radio 3 as part of their annual festival of ideas in Liverpool — the Free Thinking Festival. The essay was broadcast on Tuesday November 4th 2008 on BBC Radio 3. For more information and to listen to the broadcast, visit the <a href="http://bbc.co.uk/freethinking">Free Thinking website</a>.</i></p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/chaos-chance-and-money" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/chaos-chance-and-money#comments49annuitybutterfly effectchaoscredit crunchfinancial mathematicsgroup theorylaw of large numberspermutationMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2345 at https://plus.maths.org/contentA disappearing number
https://plus.maths.org/content/disappearing-number
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Rachel Thomas </div>
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Mathematics takes to the stage with <i>A disappearing number</i>, a work by Complicite, inspired by the mathematical collaboration of Hardy and Ramanujan. <b>Rachel Thomas</b> went to see the play, and explains some of the maths. You can also read her <a href="/issue49/interview">interview</a> with Victoria Gould about how the show was created. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">December 2008</div>
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<p><i>One morning early in 1913, he found, among the letters on his breakfast table, a large untidy envelope decorated with Indian stamps. When he opened it, he found sheets of paper by no means fresh, on which, in a non-English holograph, were line after line of symbols. Hardy glanced at them without enthusiasm.<p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/disappearing-number" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/disappearing-number#comments49convergencedivergenceinfinite seriesmathematics and artmathematics and theatreRiemann zeta functionMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2346 at https://plus.maths.org/contentFrom restaurants to climate change
https://plus.maths.org/content/restaurants-climate-change
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Dianne Cook </div>
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We live in a world full of information and it's a statistician's job to make sense of it. In this article <b>Dianne Cook</b> explores ways of analysing data and shows how they can be applied to anything from investigating diners' tipping behaviour to understanding climate change and genetics. </div>
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<p><i>We live in a world full of information and it's a statistician's job to make sense of it. This article explores ways of analysing data and shows how they can be applied to anything from investigating diners' tipping behaviour to understanding climate change and genetics.</i></p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/restaurants-climate-change" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/restaurants-climate-change#comments49data miningevolutionlinear modelmathematical modellingmathematics and climate changestatisticsMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2347 at https://plus.maths.org/contentUnreasonable effectiveness
https://plus.maths.org/content/unreasonable-effectiveness
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Mario Livio </div>
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When it comes to describing natural phenomena, mathematics is amazingly — even unreasonably — effective. In this article <b>Mario Livio</b> looks at an example of strings and knots, taking us from the mysteries of physical matter to the most esoteric outpost of pure mathematics, and back again. </div>
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<p><i>Mario Livio's book, <a href="/issue49/reviews/book5/index.html">Is God a mathematician</a> is reviewed in this issue of Plus.</i></p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/unreasonable-effectiveness" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/unreasonable-effectiveness#comments49history of mathematicsknotknot theoryphilosophy of mathematicswhat is impossibleMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2348 at https://plus.maths.org/contentConstructive mathematics
https://plus.maths.org/content/constructive-mathematics
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Phil Wilson </div>
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If 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 <b>Phil Wilson</b> looks at <i>constructivist mathematics</i>, which holds that some things are neither true, nor false, nor anything in between. </div>
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<p>Before the world awoke to its own finiteness and began to take the need for recycling seriously, one of the quintessential images of the working mathematician was a waste paper basket full of crumpled pieces of paper. The mathematician sits behind a large desk, furrowed brow resting on one hand, the other hand holding a stalled pencil over yet another sheet of paper soon to be crumpled and
discarded.</p><p><a href="https://plus.maths.org/content/constructive-mathematics" target="_blank">read more</a></p>https://plus.maths.org/content/constructive-mathematics#comments49binary logicconstructivist mathematicsintuitionist mathematicslaw of excluded middlelogicphilosophy of mathematicswhat is impossibleMon, 01 Dec 2008 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2349 at https://plus.maths.org/content