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 […]

Lots of numbers, plain and almost simple

Inder J. Taneja wants you to see some numbers, and so he presents them to you in this paper: “Natural Numbers from 44 to 1000 in terms of Increasing and Decreasing Orders of 1 to 9,” Inder J. Taneja, arXiv:1302.1479, February 6, 2013. The author [pictured here] was at one time a professor at the […]

How to deal with large and small numbers

Big numbers can be intimidating. Some people are more comfortable talking, instead, about small numbers. Here’s an example. In this video, called “Commission Meeting Million Dollar error Sept-23-2009“, a woman identified as Mrs. Carter asks two questions. Here’s a partial transcript: MRS. CARTER: “There were two things that were brought up at the budget committee […]

So you like big numbers…

If you enjoy thinking about big numbers, track down a copy of this article, and have yourself a merry time: “Beyond the infinite – tracking bacterial gene expression,” Jack A. Gilbert [pictured here], Microbiology Today. vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 82-86. May 2010. “IF THE NUMBER of known stars in the Milky Way is multiplied by the […]

You can count on monsters, mathematically

A book called You Can Count on Monsters, by Richard Evan Schwartz, is designed for children but might also be frighteningly productive for adults to read. Schwartz is a math professor at Brown University. It’s about numbers and the numbers that compose them. And if that sentence is a little scary, try dipping into the […]

How he reads a table of numbers

Peter Freed, feeling provoked, muses about how he reads a science paper (and in this passage, how he reads a table in a science paper): Now listen: most non-scientists see a table like this and freak out. They take around 3 seconds to decide they can’t understand it, get scared of feeling stupid in the face […]

Fun with numbers: Coffee, Sex, Stroke

A new study in the journal Stroke is triggering lots of exciting news stories about sex, coffee, defecation, and other activities. Here are two fairly typical headlines: Common Activities Such As Sex, Coffee Can Cause Stroke [SmartAboutHealth.net] Sex and coffee ‘trigger stroke’ [BBC News] You might enjoy looking at the study itself, and asking yourself […]

The face value of numbers

A smiley-face is very expressive, statistically. By tweaking the eyes, mouth and other bits, you can literally put a meaningful face on any jumble of numbers. Herman Chernoff pointed this out in 1973 in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, in a monograph called The Use of Faces to ­Represent Points in K-Dimensional Space […]

Numbers: A conservative estimate

Investigator Neil Gussman writes from an American military base in Iraq: Earlier I had an argument that would only happen here, at least in my life. I was walking out the latrine near our motor pool and an old sergeant in third platoon was walking in. I said hello and he launched into the latest […]

A little numbers game

Investigator William J. Maloney received the following note. It maybe be of interest as a harbinger of what scientists will be doing for the next several years: Dear William, From where I sit, small is big. In my work at Boston College, I focus on developing nanotechnology-inventions so small they are measured in nanometers: billionths […]