## New new math, again, recalls the same old song

There’s a new way to teach and learn mathematics, replacing the old new way to teach and learn mathematics. The previous new method replaced previous previous new methods. NBC News 4, in Washington, DC, describes the newest of the new: An Iowa woman jokingly calls it “Satan’s handiwork.” A California mom says she’s broken down […]

## Towards perfecting men’s necktie lengths

Following our recent improbable article on the non-linearities of Windsor Knot tying may we also recommend a paper which might be of particular interest to adult Korean males who wear neckties. Eun-Kyung Park and Jee-Won Hong presented a paper in the Journal of the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles, Vol 27, No. 11, 2003, pp. […]

## Neckties and non-linearity avoidance

If you tie a knot in a necktie, you may have noticed that (in general) there are three major probabilities regarding the outcome. Sometimes the thin end is longer than the wide end, sometimes the wide end is longer than the thin end, and sometimes they are (roughly) equal. In 2010, Tomoyoshi Motohiro of the […]

## Knitting a recursive sweater

“Knitting is usually considered a female activity and females are usually not considered to be inclined to mathematics, or to science in general. Nevertheless mathematical skills are necessary for knitting, because they help to realize symmetries, inversions, scalings and proportions; good abstraction capabilities are indeed needed to figure the final result out and to map […]

## He and they approached hallucinations mathematically

In 2001, Paul Bressloff of the University of Utah, together with four colleagues from elsewhere, made a mathematical assault on the — until then — lack of understanding of what  happens in a so-called “geometric hallucination”. Here’s Bresloff: Here’s the study: “Geometric visual hallucinations, Euclidean symmetry and the functional architecture of striate cortex,” P. C. Bressloff, […]

## Banding-together of breeders: Seven sperm abreast

Ig Nobel Prize winner Mahadevan (2007 Ig Nobel physics prize, for studying how sheets become wrinkled) and colleagues have taken an applied-mathematical look at yet another unanswered question. As happens so often with Mahadevan and his merry, varying band of collaborators, a better-than-anyone-had-before answer appeared. Details are in this study: “The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive […]

## Mathematigal: “A math major talks about fear”

Mathematigal, AKA Saramoira Shields, who majored in math and does many things, talks to the camera about people fearing to major in math: [vimeo]77416313[/vimeo] (HT Aatish Bhatia)

## The Fanciful Number 2.9013, Plus or Minus Nothing

Ig Nobel Prize (psychology, 2012) winner Rolf Zwaan writes, in his blog, about the vaunted — yet uncertain — value of a particular number: The Fanciful Number 2.9013, Plus or Minus Nothing  Can we capture any aspect of human psychology in a single number? In 1956 a paper entitled The Magical Number Seven Plus or Minus Two saw the light. […]

## A mathematical model of ‘Gone with the Wind’

Mathematicians (of any competent sort) are like writers: they believe that they can describe almost anything. This study is an exercise in write about using math to describe a love story: “A mathematical model of ‘Gone with the Wind’“, Sergio Rinaldi [pictured here], Fabio Della Rossa, Pietro Landi, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, […]

## Lots more numbers, deemed “crazy sequential”

Inder J. Taneja, who several months ago wanted to show you some simple numbers, now wants you to see some numbers, and so he presents them to you in this paper: “Crazy Sequential Representation: Numbers from 1 to 11111 in terms of Increasing and Decreasing Orders of 1 to 9,” Inder J. Taneja, arXiv:1302.1479, June […]