Articles on Mathematics

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What good is all this data if we can’t figure out how to analyze it? Elif Ayiter

Topology looks for the patterns inside big data

Collect all the data you want, but if you can't figure out what you're looking at, it's useless. Topologists look for spatial relationships to figure out what the data can tell us.
It’s hard for kids to remember a string of arbitrary numbers. from

Here’s how to get kids to remember times tables

Lots of kids have trouble remembering their times tables. Learning them by rote can mean a child knows the numbers but not what they mean.
Maths is everywhere and Pi is no exception. Holger Motzkau

A day in the life of Pi

Mathematics nerds abound, Pi Day is here, and this year it's more accurate than ever.
Game theory needs to evolve to make sense of the complexity of what drives us to cooperate. from

New take on game theory offers clues on why we cooperate

Recent research suggests a new way to look at the famous prisoner's dilemma and how the results could help us better understand human behavior and encourage cooperation.
Teachers have been found to mark boys higher than girls in maths, affecting their self-confidence with the subject. Shutterstock

Teachers’ gender bias in maths affects girls later

New research has found some teachers mark boys' primary school maths tests more favourably than girls.
A simple (but profitable) formula for university education. Andreas Kyprianou

UK universities find a cash cow in the financial fall-out

The past three decades have seen an unprecedented explosion of activity in a new sub-discipline of mathematics: financial mathematics. The emergence of this field has parallelled the expansion of the quantitative…
Paper folding may look like art, but it’s all about the math. Mina

Origami: mathematics in creasing

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. One uncut square of paper can, in the hands of an origami artist, be folded into a bird, a frog, a sailboat, or a Japanese samurai helmet beetle. Origami…
Got him: nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was bowled by Mohammed Sharmi last week. AAP/David Mariuz

Maths test: why using a cricket nightwatchman is off the mark

Imagine you are captain of the national cricket team. With 20 minutes left in day one of a test match, your top-order batsman is dismissed. Do you employ a nightwatchman? That is, do you send in a tail-end…
In lots of simple ways parents can help their kids understand and enjoy maths. Shutterstock

How parents can help their kids understand, and enjoy, maths

Teaching maths concepts has long been considered the domain of the classroom teacher, with many parents often feeling unable to help their kids develop this skill. However, parents already do many things…
Deep thoughts for deep problems. xcv

Alan Turing’s legacy is even bigger than we realise

Alan Turing is one of the world’s best-known mathematicians, and probably the best known in the past century. This is partly for his work on cracking German codes in World War II, and partly for his arrest…
Getting to grips with Domino’s square pizzas is easy with a bit of algebra. Robyn Lee/Flickr

Domino’s square pizza is value for money – with the right toppings

Consider a standard pizza box containing a standard circular pizza. How much more would you be willing to pay for a square pizza that filled the box? Clearly the square pizza contains more pizza: but is…
There is such a thing as ‘too precise’ when it comes to numbers. So what’s appropriate? Erik Olsson

The significance of digits: just how reliable are reported numbers?

When numbers of any sort are presented in mathematics, science, business, government or finance, it’s fair to say a reader assumes that the data are reasonably reliable to their last digit. But presenting…

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