Tagged: mathematics

On the Shoulders of Giants? - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 16, 2019

Isaac Newton is often thought to be the inventor of the apparently self-deprecating phrase ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, but he was not: actually it had been in use for over 500 years before he repeated it in 1675. Of more significance is that Newton wrote it in a letter to … Read More

March ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Apr 02, 2018

Image credit: PABLO HELGUERA – Classical Cartoon At Noon: If Wagner Had A Blog I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing please check this out. Send me the URL for your site meter and I can correct the information … Read More

Did artists lead the way in mathematics? - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 18, 2018

Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different disciplines – one devoted to abstract thought, the other to feeling. But sometimes the parallels between the two are uncanny. From Islamic tiling to the chaotic patterns of Jackson … Read More

Physics is a science. Or maybe not. - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 14, 2017

A couple of hours ago I gave a talk to the ‘education group’ in the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Broadly speaking, the audience was a group of physicists and engineers who are interested in education. I recycled a talk that I’d given a couple of years ago on the role of mathematics … Read More

Corals, crochet and the cosmos: how hyperbolic geometry pervades the universe - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 28, 2016

Margaret Wertheim, University of Melbourne We have built a world of largely straight lines – the houses we live in, the skyscrapers we work in and the streets we drive on our daily commutes. Yet outside our boxes, nature teams with frilly, crenellated forms, from the fluted surfaces of lettuces and fungi to the frilled skirts of sea … Read More

Protecting the big fish in the sea - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Nov 19, 2014

Dr Michael PlankThrow the small fish back, so they can grow and reproduce. So goes conventional scientific wisdom, as well as most of the world’s fishing regulations. But research – including Marsden-funded mathematical models by the University of Canterbury’s Michael Plank – is now showing that we should be catching more small fry, and letting the big fish go … Read More

Circling line-following robots - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 30, 2014

A few weeks ago I commented on a task our second year software-engineering students are doing: building robots to follow a white line with the Lego 'Mindstorm' kit. It's been entertaining watching their various attempts and their design selections. Most groups have pretty-well optimized their robot now, and there's some final tweaking going on, ahead of our … Read More

It’s all about the math, dummy! - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Sep 18, 2014

No one understands the electoral maths of the NZ electoral system including the electoral commission apparently. Last night I put the latest figures from the “Poll of Polls” into the electoral commission calculator and I discovered the calculator was broken! I put the figures in with United Future winning one electorate seat, but when it crunched … Continue reading → … Read More