We wanted to find out which biological phenomena are crucial for pattern formation and which are just incidental. These sorts of questions can be answered with mathematical modelling.
A rock surface containing a circular pattern with a central depression. The scale bar = 10 cm.
Images modified from: Helm, C.W.; Cawthra, H.C.; De Vynck, J.C.; Helm, C.J.; Rust, R.; Stear. W. Patterns in the Sand: A Pleistocene hominin signature along the South African coastline? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association (2019)
Given that we know humans moved across these landscapes, we wondered whether there might also be evidence of other forms of human activity on these surfaces of sand.
Those shapes may prove as constructive as the numbers.
On top of teaching them how to recognize numbers and count to 10, make sure they're playing with puzzles.
How many lakes are in Alaska? Thermokarst lakes on Alaska’s North Slope are self-similar and fractal.
Painting by Cherissa Dukelow
What do earthquakes, wealthy Italian families and your circulatory system have in common? Scientists use fractals, self-similarity and power laws to translate from local to global scales.
All demographics of people are suceptible to being deceived.
Coach students to analyze the credibility of sources, but teaching them how genre and experiential patterns can be manipulated is also relevant.
Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes.
Zebrafish are known for their black and gold stripes, but researchers are still figuring out how pigment cells interact to form these patterns.
A mathematician has joined the dots between Alan Turing and chasing cells to find out how skin patterns are formed.
Is there a geometry lesson hidden in ‘The Last Supper’?
Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different. But a trip through history – from an Islamic palace to Pollock's paintings – proves the parallels between the two can be uncanny.
A fern repeats its pattern at various scales.
Fractals are patterns that repeat at increasingly fine magnifications. They turn up in the natural world and in artists' work. Research suggests they contribute to making something aesthetically appealing.
Welcome to the world of cloths and materials that change depending on your mood.
Kite- and dart-shaped tiles create never-repeating patterns.
Many scientists didn't believe that crystals made up of never-repeating patterns could exist. But they do and scientists are starting to understand the weird maths behind them.
Why are some pages of a book of numbers tables more dog-eared than others?
Book image via www.shutterstock.com.
The first digits of numbers in a data set aren't distributed equally. And now you know more than a lot of fraudsters do – and should – when they're making up their phony numbers.
Repeating patterns are visually intriguing.
Frank A Farris
When you see a repeating pattern, your mind easily imagines it continuing to infinity. There are mathematical rules behind the intriguing visuals.
Try to predict the outcome of a single coin toss and you’ll have only a 50-50 chance of being correct.
Predicting infectious disease outbreaks is a tricky task to begin with. And it's made harder still by the fact that any individual outcome is subject to unpredictable – or stochastic – effects.
Helping kids learn patterns can develop math skills.
Poughkeepsie Day School
Patterns are simple sequences that repeat over and over again in a certain order. Supporting children's ability to recognize patterns can improve mathematical skills.
Paper folding may look like art, but it’s all about the math.
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…
Canadian physicists have answered the mystery behind how ripples are formed on the surface of icicles, which remarkably have…