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Was math invented or discovered?

"Why was math invented? How was it invented?," asked a student at the Schaumburg Township District Library's Summer Science program.<p>Steve Condie, …

High School

Mathematicians create the perfect way to slice a pizza

It’s funny how pizza culture varies from coast to coast, and even from city to city. Just ask a New Yorker and a Chicagoan about the pros and cons of …

Mathematics

How many is too many? State Dept says calculus for civilian casualties exists, but won’t disclose it

Civilian casualties are weighed against the value of the targets in a “calculus” used by the US military, but what that ratio might be, the State …

Sorry, But You're Not Going to Win: An Inside Look at Powerball Math

This week, one American could walk away with a Powerball ticket worth $1.5 billion. But according to math, you're not going to win.

Powerball

How This Guy’s Bad Math About Powerball and Poverty Became an Inescapable Viral Meme

When Steve Bastien started working on his latest image macro, he had no idea it would be an enormous viral success. Then again, he also didn’t know …

How a mathematician plays Powerball

Imagine a stack of one dollar bills reaching from Los Angeles to Tijuana with exactly one $1,000 bill in the stack. The odds of any single ticket winning the lottery tonight are smaller than finding that $1,000 bill on your first try. In fact, the odds are significantly worse. Alternatively, …

Why Do I Need To Learn Algebra?

#1534Why Do I Need To Learn Algebra?Have You Ever Wondered?• Why do I need to learn algebra?<br>• What is algebra?<br>• How long has algebra been around?<br>Did You …

Mathematics

5 majors for math lovers who don't want to major in math

So you love math, but don’t plan on becoming a mathematician any time soon. Naturally, you may be wondering what kind of degree you should pursue (other than a B.S. in mathematics) that would put your passion for and knowledge of math to good use.<p>It turns out there are many majors that may lack …

Mathematics

Should I take calculus before college?

Years ago, calculus courses were almost exclusively the domain of college students. Yet today, most high schools have increased their mathematics course offerings to include calculus courses of various difficulties, from the standard high school-level to honors, all the way up to AP.<p>This trend is …

College & University

Ada Lovelace Was the First Person to Understand the Real Potential of Computers

The Victorian mathematician's legacy goes beyond the first published computer program.<p>Ada Lovelace's legacy is as contentious, perhaps, as her life as a female mathematician in the 1800s was colourful. She's widely considered the "first computer programmer," an accolade that has led to some critics …

Mathematics

The Myth of Being “Bad at Math”

Advances in neuroscience are revolutionizing our approach to education, and they have particularly weighty implications for the way we teach math. …

Mathematics

One-Word Math Classes

You know what’s often missing from math class? Yes, candy bars, but even more important than that: coherence.<p>Math class shouldn’t be a mishmash pile …

Mathematics

How Math Can Defeat Bullies

The mathematician John Allen Paulos marvels at his field’s counterintuitive proofs. Yet his earliest intellectual thrill was the discovery that numeracy could empower even a child.<p>Do kids have an unheralded incentive to master math?<p>This week, I’m sharing responses to the question, “What insight or …

Mathematics

Why We Use "X" as the Unknown in Math

For hundreds of years, x has been the go-to symbol for the unknown quantity in mathematical equations. So who started this practice?<p>Algebra was born …

Mathematics

Historic 'Tile' Discovery Gives Math World A Big Jolt

A team of mathematicians has wowed the math world with their discovery of a new kind of pentagon capable of "tiling a plane"--that is, fitting together on a flat surface without overlapping or leaving any gaps.<p>It's said to be only the fifteenth such pentagon ever found and the first new one to be …

Mathematics

Here's Proof That Beautiful Math Equations Affect The Brain Just Like Great Art

What's beautiful to you? A sunset? The face of a loved one? A favorite poem or song?<p>Mathematicians sometimes say they find beauty in mathematical formulas, and a new brain scan study confirms that equations can activate the brain in much the same way that great art does.<p>"To many of us, mathematical …

Crown calculus: The math behind Queen Victoria's record reign

Our annotated breakdown of how Windsor Castle’s bibliographer measured the exact minute Queen Elizabeth II will take the crown for longest reign<p><i>Queen</i> …

Pixar teaches kids the math behind the movies in online class

Pixar created films like "Toy Story" and "Monsters Inc." but the latest production from the Emeryville-based animation studios stars a different cast …

Animation

Kids With Four-Day School Weeks Score Better in Math, Study Suggests

Could three-day weekends help school districts cut costs without undermining student learning? A new study suggests it’s possible.<p>Researchers from …

Math-letes rule! Fit, healthy kids do better in school, especially math

The familiar saying that exercise is good for the body and mind may be especially true for children. Kids who are physically fit actually have …

Pre-kindergarten

Will Studying Math Make You Richer?

A Fed study says yes. You should be smart enough to be skeptical—especially if you studied math.<p>Students who advance further in high school math have higher wages and are less likely to be unemployed, according to a new study from the Cleveland Fed. So when Noah Smith and Miles Kimball say there is …

The 10 Best Jobs For People Who Love Math

To find out which jobs offer the best opportunities for people who love math, we analyzed CareerCast's list of the top 200 occupations in 2013 and pulled out those jobs that require analytical math skills.<p>CareerCast, a job search site, measured the stress, physical demands, and both the current and …

Employment

What's the Universe Made Of? Math, Says Scientist

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Scientists have long used mathematics to describe the physical properties of the universe. But what if the universe itself is math? …

15 Plants That Teach Us Sacred Geometry At Its Finest

Plant growth is governed by the Fibonacci sequence, which can be understood as a law of accumulation. The role of the Fibonacci sequence in the …

Bridges 2015: a meeting of maths and art - in pictures

The Bridges Conference is an annual event that explores the connections between art and mathematics. Here is a selection of the work being exhibited this year, from a Pi pie which vibrates the number pi onto your hand to delicate paper structures demonstrating number sequences. This year’s …

Mathematics

How to Get to the Fourth Dimension

Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension: A Mathematician's Journey through Narcissistic Numbers, Optimal Dating Algorithms, at Least Two Kinds …

Mathematics

In The Market For A New Bathroom Tile? Here’s One That’s Also A Mathematical Discovery

The pentagon is not a shape you typically see used for tiling. Take a peek at your average bathroom tile pattern and you’ll probably see triangles, quadrilaterals, or hexagons–shapes that, when tessellated, don’t overlap or leave any gaps. That’s what mathematicians call being able to “tile the …

Mathematics

How Do Motorcycles Lean So Far Without Tipping Over?

Riding a motorcycle is just like riding a bike except it's much faster—oh, and you don't have to pedal. In both cases, the two wheeled vehicle can …

Kansas officials stonewall mathematician investigating voting machine "sabotage"

Wichita State University's Beth Clarkson (who is also chief statistician of WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research) discovered "odd patterns" …

Cory Doctorow

Math Fought The Law, And The Law Won

Photo courtesy of stock monkeys.com<p>Math is full of laws: group laws in abstract algebra, the law of sines in trigonometry, and De Morgan’s law in set …