Patterns and proofs

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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…

The science of dread: anticipating pain makes it worse

For most people, a chocolate today is better than one tomorrow. Economists refer to this as “future discounting”, where we prefer to have nice things now rather than wait and unpleasant things later rather…
A tower of used books.

Google’s flu fail shows the problem with big data

When people talk about ‘big data’, there is an oft-quoted example: a proposed public health tool called Google Flu Trends. It has become something of a pin-up for the big data movement, but it might not…
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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…
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The man who turned coffee into theorems

What do you get a mathematician for their birthday? Well, if it’s a big one – like a 100th – you could throw a conference in their honour. That’s what happened earlier this month, when mathematicians gathered…