Tagged: maths

New Zealand women in STEM – talented and diverse - Curious and Curiouser

Victoria Metcalf Feb 19, 2016

We have a plethora of talented women in diverse STEM-related careers within New Zealand. Profiling some of these incredible women on the web is one aspect of the Curious Minds initiative. Supporting those women who enter into a science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM career is just as important as using those same women as positive role models for … Read More

Calculating pi with darts - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 16, 2015

I love this one. Really, it's maths not physics, but there is a bit of experimental physics creeping in at the fringes when the experimenters realize that the first method is biased. The second method is much better designed.  Regrettably, pi-day (March 14th, 2015, or 3.14.15) only works if you use the US system of recording dates.  But … Read More

How high is a winning cricket score? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 24, 2015

I can't help thinking that the West Indies team got their run chase strategy wrong on Sunday night. They had a tricky task ahead of them. One might say the problem was one of their own making, judging from the rubbish that they served up to Guptill to hit at the end of tne New Zealand innings, but that … Read More

When energy conservation doesn’t add up (or does it?) - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 23, 2014

In the last few weeks holes have been popping up all over Cambridge. They are being dug by 'ditch-witches'  - pieces of machinery designed for making small-diameter tunnels for cabling - as part of the installation of fibre-optic cables for the much vaunted ultra-fast broadband. A ditch-witch is about the ultimate in machinery-obsessed-toddler heaven. We've been avidly … Read More

Saddle-points and today’s weather - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 18, 2014

I've been following the weather with interest this week. First of all, I was very glad when the wind and rain disappeared late last weekend. We were at a wedding in Whakatane on Saturday afternoon/evening, and boy, did it rain. With the wedding in a garden in something that was a bit more substantial than a marquee (think marquee … Read More

Check those approximations - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 15, 2014

A common technique in physics is 'modelling'. This is about constructing a description of a physical phenomenon in terms of physical principles. Often these can be encapsulated with mathematical equations. For example, it's common to model the suspension system of a car as two masses connected by springs to a much larger mass. Here, the large mass represents the … Read More

Password entropy - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 30, 2014

As part of some 'NetSafe' training, I was shown this lovely xkcd cartoon http://xkcd.com/936/ .   Password entropy. That's a good way of putting it. The statistical mechanics definition of entropy would be k ln W, where k is Boltzmann's constant, W is the number of permutations possible, and ln is 'the natural logarithm'. Higher entropy, means … Read More