The recent Improbable article : ‘Welcome to My Brain‘ profiled the work of Dr. Anne Beate Reinertsen PhD, whose paper ‘Welcome to My Brain’ explained the process of ‘Neuroknitting’ – in particular the knitting of Möbius Bands. In this respect the paper cites the work of Dr. Sarah-marie Belcastro (Research Associate at Smith College and a […]

# Tag: mathematics

## Littlewood’s Law (of miracles-per-month)

Wikipedia describes Littlewood’s Law: Littlewood’s Law, or adage, states that an individual can expect to experience “miracles” at the rate of about one per month. The law was framed by Cambridge University Professor J. E. Littlewood, and published in a 1986 collection of his work, A Mathematician’s Miscellany. It seeks among other things to debunk one element of supposed supernatural phenomenology […]

## On Vulgar Numbers

David Justice wrote a little essay about vulgar numbers, or at least about things related to vulgar numbers: we took to abstraction like — like a duck to water, like a kitteh to cheezeburger, like Donald Trump to a pile of manure. It was to some extent an end in itself… No sooner did we […]

## Bankruptcy and Hell-o, Alabama

The most populous county in the American state of Alabama has just declared bankruptcy. This is an opportune time for mathematicians to revisit the calculations that led to the awarding of the 1994 Ig Nobel Prize for mathematics. That Ig Nobel Prize was awarded to The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama [who have since re-named themselves], for […]

## A loving, applied mathematical tribute across a generation

L. Mahadevan, who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in physics for studying how sheets get wrinkled, wrote a loving tribute, a few months ago, to his teacher Joseph Keller [pictured here]. Keller is a two-time Ig Nobel Prize winner. The entire essay appears in SIAM News. Here are snippets: Joe Keller’s contributions to the […]

## Hamburger moments for mathematicians

Two tasty studies, for mathematicians who enjoy this sort of thing: 1. “ON THE BACKWARD EXTENSION OF POSITIVE DEFINITE HAMBURGER MOMENT SEQUENCES,” Fred M. Wright, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 7, 1956, pp. 413-22. 2. “An Extended Hamburger Moment Problem,” Olav Njåstad [pictured here], Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Series 2) (1985), 28 […]

## How many tunes?

Ashley Hamer does some math to find out many different tunes could possibly be written, given how many notes there are on the music scale. She explains it in this 11-minute-line video, chock full of examples: Thanks to investigator Jennifer Ouellette for bringing this to our attention.

## Non-Math Academics Tend to Be Impressed by Equations

What’s the value of an equation? This study appears to show that, to academics who don’t use much mathematics, any equation can be impressive — no matter what the equation says, and whether or not it adds any clarity or knowledge to a situation: “The Nonsense Math Effect,” Kimmo Eriksson, Judgement and Decision-Making, Vol. 7, […]

## A calculating look at the end of the world

Some persons predict that the world will end on December 21, 2012. Perhaps they are correct. For mathematical context, take a look back (perhaps the last look back any of us will have a chance to make!) at the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize winners in the field of mathematics: MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Dorothy Martin of the USA (who […]

## Log Scales: Of minor amusement to certain mathematicians

Mathematicians of a certain bent enjoy puns. For them — and only them — here are some items about log scales: A photo of a log scale Log scales in Australia Log scales somewhere else And this: “The Case for Cubic Log Scale“, which blends in an unusual but sensible way notions from two kinds of […]