### New definition returns meaning to information

A clownfish navigates a sea of information. Credit: Santa Fe Institute A fish on the Great Barrier Reef continually acquires new information from its environment—the location of food, the murkiness of the water, and the sounds of distant ships, to name a few examples. But only some of that information is meaningful, in that it…

### Huge lottery prizes due to simple math, with a few surprises

Jean Pierre fills out several Mega Millions lottery tickets for purchase at a convenience store Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. No one won the \$1 billion jackpot in Saturday night’s drawing, which means the top prize for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing would be the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/John…

### Did you solve it? Cutting the perfect slice.

In my puzzle column earlier today I set you the following puzzles: 1. Can you cut the shape below into two identical parts using one single line? The line does not have to be straight. Solution: So obvious when you see the answer, right? 2. Below are two figures, each divided into four parts that…

### Mathematics as weapon against desertification

Google Earth image from the research area (8°5’N; 47°27’E), with clear vegetation patterns.  Ph.D. student Robbin Bastiaansen applies mathematics to get insight in practical problems. By comparing mathematical models with developments in existing ecosystems, he hopes to demystify the process of desertification. His research has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS),…

### Can you solve it? Cutting the perfect slice

Hello guzzlers, Scalpels at the ready! Today, three dissection puzzles. 1. Can you cut the shape below into two identical parts using one single line? The line does not have to be straight. This jagged geometrical brainteaser is from the vault of American science writer Martin Gardner, who died in 2010. The Gathering for Gardner…

### Did sexism play a role in Serena Williams' loss at the US Open?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain A new Statistics Views article examines whether sexism played a role in what took place in the final round of the women’s singles at the 2018 US Open, when American tennis superstar Serena Williams was fined for three code violations that caused her to be penalized during a game when she…

### Bitcoin better than the dollar?

Will bitcoin topple the dollar of its pedestal? Credit: IFJ PAN The name cryptocurrency does not inspire trust. Advanced statistical analysis for the Bitcoin market carried out at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, however, has not shown any significant differences between its basic statistical parameters and their…

### Did you solve it? I've got a little (logical) list

In my puzzle column earlier today I set you the following two self-referential logic list problems ONE Which of the following statements is/are true? 1. Exactly one of the statements in this list is false. 2. Exactly two of the statements in this list are false. 3. Exactly three of the statements in this list…

### Statistician's new book explores the meaning of luck in everyday life

“We want things to happen for a reason,” says U of T Professor Jeffrey Rosenthal. “It’s a universal human need. I completely sympathize with that notion, but I also think that isn’t how the world always works.” Credit: University of Toronto When Joe Parker offered to take a photo of a vacationing family at a…

### Can you solve it? I've got a little (logical) list

Hi guzzlers, (i) People who are logically minded like to list things. (ii) These two logic puzzles celebrate this fact. ONE Which of the following statements is/are true? 1. Exactly one of the statements in this list is false. 2. Exactly two of the statements in this list are false. 3. Exactly three of the…