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Royal Society Science Book Prize shortlist announced

The 2018 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize has announced its shortlist:

For the mathematically-minded, the highlight of the list is probably Hannah Fry’s upcoming Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine, published next month. Certainly the news has Hannah excited! An extract entitled ‘Can crime be predicted by an algorithm?‘ has been released by the publisher, Penguin.

The prize is judged by a panel of expert judges. A page about the prize says that “the winner will be announced at the award ceremony, taking place on Monday 1 October presented by Professor Brian Cox. The ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.” Though, curiously, the Royal Society website public events page has no listings for 1st October at present.

Not Mentioned on The Aperiodical, November 2017

Here’s a round-up of a few news stories we’ve not had chance to write about this month.

Not mentioned on The Aperiodical this month, May 2016

Here are a few of the stories that we didn’t get round to covering in depth this month.

Turing’s Sunflowers Project – results

Manchester Science Festival’s mass-participation maths/gardening project, Turing’s Sunflowers, ran in 2012 and invited members of the public to grow their own sunflowers, and then photograph or bring in the seed heads so a group of mathematicians could study them. The aim was to determine whether Fibonacci numbers occur in the seed spirals – this has previously been observed, but no large-scale study like this has ever been undertaken. This carries on the work Alan Turing did before he died.

The results of the research are now published – a paper has been published in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal, and the findings indicate that while Fibonacci numbers do often occur, other types of numbers also crop up, including Lucas numbers and other similarly defined number sequences.

Mathematical awards season round-up

It’s not only actors who get shiny awards around this time of year – mathematicians are in on it too!

There have been a few medals, gongs and otherwise prizes awarded to some terrifically clever people in the past month or so, so I thought I’d do a round-up of the ones I’m aware of.

Not mentioned on The Aperiodical this month – August 2014

As usual in the summer, we’ve all been off doing our own things and consequently neglecting the news queue. Time to break out our tried-and-tested solution: a combo-post summarising everything we failed to cover in depth, before it goes completely out of date.

The Royal Society has Opinions about Education

The Royal Society has released a report outlining their idea of what science and maths education should look like in the future. It’s over a hundred pages long, but they’ve made a nice website to go along with it, with pages summarising their recommendations for things like “stability for curricula” and the teaching profession.

More information: The Royal Society’s vision for science and mathematics education

Cédric Villani is setting up a Maths Museum in Paris

The 2010 Fields Medal winner Cédric Villani announced at Copenhagen’s Euroscience Open Forum last month that there will be a museum dedicated to mathematics, based at the Institut Henri Poincaré, where he is the director. It’s expected to open in 2018.

Source: Cédric Villani annonce la création d’un musée des mathématiques à Paris, in Sciences et Avenir (in French)

Science Magazine establishes a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors

In response to recent increases in flawed quantitative analysis and statistical bias in papers, Science has announced its intention to establish a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors to provide better oversight on data interpretation. Recognising that a technical reviewer may not also be fluent in data analysis, the panel will consist of experts in stats and data analysis, and will be sent papers identified by their regular Board of Reviewing Editors (BoRE) as being in need of further scrutiny. Hooray for maths!

More information

Science Magazine raises its statistical bar. Will we? at Chris Blattman’s blog

Raising the Bar, at Science (free registration required to view, because of Science reasons)

Science joins push to screen statistics in papers in the Nature blog

ASA launches ‘This is Statistics’

this is statistics

The American Statistical Association, in a push to provide a new perspective on a subject often misunderstood and considered to be boring, has launched This is Statistics, a new website full of videos, applets and articles outlining how useful and interesting stats can be. It’s aimed at students, parents and educators and includes quizes and case studies of how stats has helped science change lives.

Website: This is Statistics

via Tim Harford on Twitter

Report criticises level of mathematics in A-level science

An article on the BBC website says that a report by SCORE has found that A-level science exams do not contain enough maths questions to prepare students to progress to science degrees or related jobs.

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