Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Mathematics

Articles (1 - 20 of 95)

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…
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…
Tattoos, bow tie, sunglasses = Hipster. giorgiomtb

Craft beers + beards + bicycles = what? Solving hipster maths

Hipsters are so mainstream now that they’re the subject of mathematical papers. Jonathan Touboul, a mathematical neuroscientist from the Collège de France, claims to have answered one of the great mysteries…
Social security is on a collision course with insolvency. A little bit of math could keep it safe. Shutterstock

How mathematics could help us save social security

The US Social Security system has been heading toward insolvency for decades, with the program now projected to run a 25% deficit by a little after 2030, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Despite…
Every living organism needs the same five basic processes – and we can now model ecosystems on them. erban/Flickr

Life boils down to five ‘rules’ … or so says the Madingley Model

It may sound overly simple, but just five processes can define us as animals: eating, metabolism, reproduction, dispersal and death. They might not seem like much, but, thanks to a mathematical model from…
Maryam Mirzakhani – the first woman to win the Fields medal – was recognised for contributions to understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces. Stanford University

Meet the winners of the Fields medal – the ‘Nobel prize of maths’

The four winners of the 2014 Fields medals – the most prestigious prizes for mathematics – were announced today, including the first female and first Latin American recipients of the 78-year-old prize…
The answer… 56. Multiplication table by extender_01/Shutterstock

What is 7x8? You’ll need confidence to answer correctly

The British Chancellor George Osborne recently refused to answer a simple times table question posed to him by seven-year-old school boy Samuel Reddings. Osborne was asked the question 7x8, but declined…
Maths can help in the hunt for MH370. EPA/Australian Department of Defence

How statistics can help in the mission to find MH370

That the Malaysian government, with the help of the UK’s INMARSAT, was able to dramatically narrow down the search area for flight MH370, made it seem much more likely that the wreckage of the plane might…
Let’s paint a picture of ‘pi’. jakedobkin/Flickr (cropped)

We still can’t get enough pi … but why?

The number pi (π = 3.14159265358979323846…), unique among the pantheon of mathematical constants, captures the fascination of the public and professional mathematicians. Three years ago one of the authors…

Hand gestures help kids learn maths

Using hand gestures may help children learn mathematics better, according to a recent study. Researchers, led by Miriam A…
Once you get a taste, it’s hard to stop playing Candy Crush … but why? emi iemei/Flickr

Totally addicted to apps: difficulty makes Candy Crush so sweet

It’s been said that in a city, you’re never more than two metres away from a rat. But it seems more likely that you’re never more than two metres from someone playing the puzzle game Candy Crush Saga…
Mathematics is everywhere, from national security and genetics to public transport scheduling. Bonita Club/Flickr (cropped)

Optimising the future with mathematics

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia…
A better grounding in mathematics is needed for a career in science. Shutterstock

A lack of maths just doesn’t add up for a career in science

Our future in science, technology and engineering relies on a foundation and understanding of mathematics. And while it is pleasing to see a growth in interest in our advanced mathematics course at the…

Top contributors

More