March was a terribly sad month for the University of Wisconsin; just days after losing Mary Ellen Rudin, George E. P. Box also passed away. He was 93.
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Mary Ellen Rudin, one of the pioneers of set-theoretical topology, passed away this week. She was 88.
Liechtenstein is a tiny, mountain-top country with the population of a medium-sized town and a football team routinely thrashed by everyone who encounters them (except for Scotland, of course). You’d be forgiven for thinking little ever happened there.
Mathematics is like marmite: either you love it or hate it. Most people who hate it do so because ‘it’s too hard’ or ask ‘what’s the point’, while those who love it tend to be those who use the subject in the workplace or are studying it. Will mathematics always be like this, or is there a way to change the perception of maths and make it more fun and appealing?
MathsWorldUK has a plan to develop a museum dedicated to mathematics in the UK. The idea behind this is to provide the public with a chance to see how mathematics is used within our society, and experience the discoveries mathematicians have made – for themselves.
According to a report by the University of London’s Institute of Education, the very best 10-year-old English students are as good at maths as their counterparts around the world, but have fallen behind by around two years by the time they reach their GCSEs.
Cue frothy-mouthed calls for more rigour and tougher exams, presumably since you can’t string people up for not being good at maths, even if it is the only language they understand. Cue also a great deal of “it’s all their fault” finger-pointing and insulting generalisations of the “of course, those Asians value study more highly” variety.
Nothing puts your home insurance premium up like having been burgled in the past – because it means you’re more likely to be burgled again. Stanford researcher Nancy Rodríguez, with colleagues Henri Berestycki (who is first author, for the record) and Lenya Ryzhik, has developed a travelling waves model to explain this phenomenon – and, more importantly, how to stop it.
Crime, according to past research, tends to cluster in particular neighbourhoods – and even individual houses. Once a crime epicentre has been established, criminal activity tends to spread out in a wave pattern, gradually engulfing larger and larger areas.
“What’s that, boss?”
“I said, look at this article on a conference about how maths is applied and write something full of puns.”