Bicycle tracks – still being covered

As Sherlock Holmes aficionados will know, in the 1903 story ‘The Adventure of the Priory School’, Holmes determined the direction in which a bicycle was travelling simply by observing the tyre tracks which it had made – asserting that the deeper of the two wheel marks must have come from the heavier rear wheel … […]

The mathematics of somersaults on the trampoline

Very few researchers have attempted to describe a biomechanical model for numerical simulation of front and back somersaults, as performed on the trampoline (without twist). But there are exceptions – take for example Wojciech Blajer (Department of Mechanics, Institute of Applied Mechanics, Technical University of Radom, Poland) and Adam Czaplicki  (Department of Biomechanics, Institute of […]

Mathematicalistic Analysis of Broadway Collaboration Success

A 2005 study tried to use math techniques to analyze who was (and who will be) successful in building broadway shows: “Collaboration and Creativity: The Small World Problem,” Brian Uzzi [Northwestern University] and Jarrett Spiro [Stanford University then, INSEAD now], American Journal of Sociology, vol. 111, no. 2, September 2005. The authors analyzed the small […]

Hairy Ball Update 2012

The Hairy Ball Theorem  (HBT) was first postulated (and then proved) by Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer in 1912. An informal statement of the theorem is that :               “One cannot comb the hair on a coconut”. Temptations to classify the theorem as trivial should be strongly resisted – as it’s still finding relevance in many current research […]

Let’s go, Camping! How Harold does his math.

Harold Camping calculates that the world will end on Friday, October 21, 2011. Mr. Camping and several like-minded persons shared the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics, for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations. How does Harold Camping do math? He shares his secrets in his mathematics text book: The Perfect […]