New Simulation Shows How The Pacific Islands May Have Been Colonized

The 24 major island groups of the Pacific Ocean were settled by early Austronesians between 3,500 and 900 years ago, but little is known about how these isolated islands were colonized. Now, researchers have used epidemiological modeling to devise some compelling new ideas about how it was done.
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The Whys, Wherefores, and Wonders of Mathematics

Check out this delightful video of math teacher Paul Lockhart—author of Measurement, "a permanent solution to math phobia by introducing us to mathematics as an artful way of thinking and living"—waxing lyrical about the splendors of mathematics and mathematical thinking, and why "the mathematical question is always… » 4/17/15 3:40pm 4/17/15 3:40pm

How Is A Mathematical Proof Like Frodo's Journey In Lord Of The Rings?

When people describe a story as being told in a "by the numbers" fashion, that's usually regarded as bad. But in a talk at Oxford University the other day, scientist Marcus du Sautoy argued that a great mathematical proof is a lot like a story. In fact, a really great proof is like Frodo's journey in Lord of the Rings » 1/21/15 4:00pm 1/21/15 4:00pm

The Equation That Can Help Predict Zombie Migration Patterns

The scenario: News reports say that there's been a zombie outbreak at the city hospital. The undead are pouring into the streets, biting hapless citizens. How much time do you have to gather supplies, get out of town and set up a fortified site, before the horde catches up with you? As always, there's a way to… » 12/12/14 2:20pm 12/12/14 2:20pm

A 19th Century Math Genius Taught Us The Best Way To Hold Pizza

We've all been there. You pick up a slice of pizza and you're about to take a bite, but it flops over and dangles limply from your fingers instead. The crust isn't stiff enough to support the weight of the slice. Maybe you should have gone for fewer toppings? No. There's no need to despair. » 10/10/14 9:30am 10/10/14 9:30am