Articles on Mathematics

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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…
He is on a tour. artbystevejohnson

How to get ants to solve a chess problem

Take a set of chess pieces and throw them all away except for one knight. Place the knight on any one of the 64 squares of a chess board. Can you make 63 legal moves so that you visit every square on the…
Listen to it loud and clear. rthakrar

Numbers that become memes can be dangerous to society

Some numbers are both memorable and incorrect. Take the idea that we only use 10% of our brains. Despite there being no medical evidence for the remarkably low percentage, many still believe it. Part of…
Disabling a country’s electricity with the click of a button. usairforce

New cyber-attack model helps hackers time the next Stuxnet

Of the many tricks used by the world’s greatest military strategists, one usually works well – taking the enemy by surprise…
Chalk and talk maths classes are not going to cut it for modern students. Maths image from www.shutterstock.com

Who learns in maths classes depends on how maths is taught

Students who are ill-prepared in mathematics are entering university and creating challenges for mathematics departments. There are lots of ideas out there on what to do about this but little evidence…
It’s a long way for one man and his reindeer to travel. Jpatokal

Help solve Santa’s logistics troubles with a little maths

In just one night, Santa has to visit millions of homes to deliver presents. If he could travel at the speed of light, the task would be simple. However, Einstein’s formula, E=MC², tells us that anything…
The Sydney Opera House, an icon of Australia’s creative and technical achievement. It has won worldwide acclaim for its design and construction. Linh_rOm

The Golden Mean: a great discovery or natural phenomenon?

What do the façades of the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square and the Sydney Opera House in Australia have in common? Most people would suggest the two buildings have few similarities – the…
Where do you start building a machine like Deep Thought, the super-intelligent computer who came up with the Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? YouTube

To create a super-intelligent machine, start with an equation

Intelligence is a very difficult concept and, until recently, no one has succeeded in giving it a satisfactory formal definition. Most researchers have given up grappling with the notion of intelligence…
Chess can be applied to maths education – you just have to think outside the box. practicalowl

A good move to master maths? Check out these chess puzzles

In the spirit of the current world championship bout between Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, we should seriously consider the role of chess in how young students…
Terry Speed plus maths and stats equals Prime Minister’s Prize for Science 2013. WEHI

Is it possible to add statistics to science? You can count on it

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise excellence in science and science teaching. This year, we asked three prizewinners to reflect on their work and factors that influenced their careers…
Professor Terence Paul Speed wins the coveted Prime Minister’s Prize for Science at age 70. Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/Bearcage

Maths whiz wins PM’s Science Prize for fight against cancer

Australian mathematician and statistician Terry Speed has been awarded the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for giving…
px Latte art.

Predicting what your food smells like just got easier

Familiar everyday odours such as coffee and red wine are produced by a blend of different substances. Given that we know aroma is nothing but a mix of volatile chemicals, can we understand them enough…
Forget the calculator: maths is about ideas, not arithmetic. celestehopkins

Putting maths on the map with the four colour theorem

Recently, as a community ambassador for ANU Student Equity, I took to a local secondary school to talk maths with a small group of students. The goal? To give them an enjoyable mathematical experience…
We share a birthday? Really? What are the chances? massdistraction

The birthday problem: what are the odds of sharing b-days?

How many people do you have to put into a room before you are guaranteed that at least two of them share a birthday? We all know and love the blissful feeling of winning an argument. Well, trust me, that’s…
Around 20% of people are maths anxious. To decrease this figure, we need to bust some stereotypes. Tom Lin :3=

To overcome fear of maths, let’s confront the myths

We all know someone who gets the jitters when they have to make a speech, or breaks out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of being in an enclosed space. That person might even be you. But do you know…
Jimmy Connors: even better than Tim Henman. Carine06

Forget Federer and Borg, stats show Connors is the greatest

The whole purpose of professional sport is to find out one thing. Football leagues, cup competitions and all sports tournaments around the globe are set up to answer the question that motivates the entire…
Creating ways for PhD graduates and other science researchers to go into teaching could be a way to improve our science education. Phd student image from www.shutterstock.com

Inspiring science: fast-track PhD graduates into teaching

MATHS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: We’ve asked our authors about the state of maths and science education in Australia and its future direction. In this instalment, Marguerite Evans-Galea, Darren Saunders, and…

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