### Data reveals the value of an assist in basketball

A typical ‘drive and kick’ corner three-point shot. Credit: Konstantinos Pelechrinis, CC-BY-ND A player drives to the basket. As the defense collapses, he passes the ball to his teammate, anchored at the corner, for the open three-point shot. This corner shot is one of the most efficient shots in basketball, as measured through the expected…

### NJIT mathematical sciences professor releases major league baseball predictions

NJIT Mathematical Sciences Professor and Associate Dean Bruce Bukiet has published his model’s projections of how the standings should look at the end of Major League Baseball’s regular season in 2019. For more than 20 years, Bukiet has applied mathematical models to compute the number of regular season games each Major League Baseball team should…

### Did you solve it? Turn it up to 11

Earlier today I set you the following two puzzles: 1) Why is every even digit palindrome divisible by 11? (An even digit palindrome is a palindromic number that contains an even number of digits, like 1221, or 678876.) Solution There are different ways to solve this one. My method is perhaps the least technical, but…

### Can you solve it? Turn it up to 11

Legs eleven, Ocean’s Eleven, elevenses! Yes, let’s hear it for the number 11, star protagonist of today’s puzzles. Eleven is the first number you reach once you go beyond ten. Since ten is the base of our number system, eleven’s position gives it some interesting properties – as the members of Spinal Tap knew all…

### Calling time on 'statistical significance' in science research

Computer with statistics on screen. Credit: Pixabay Scientists should stop using the term ‘statistically significant’ in their research, urges this editorial in a special issue of The American Statistician published today. The issue, Statistical Inference in the 21st Century: A World Beyond P Containing 43 papers by statisticians from around the world, the special issue…

### Mathematicians reveal secret to human sperm's swimming prowess

Virtual human sperm in cervical mucus analogue (3D view): the tail is stabilized by the reinforced coating (blue). Credit: Dr. Hermes Gadelha, University of York. Researchers have discovered what gives human sperm the strength to succeed in the race to fertilise the egg. The researchers, from the universities of York and Oxford, discovered that a…

### Odds of perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion, so why do we play?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain The odds are, quite frankly, astronomical. If you are sitting down today to fill out your NCAA bracket, know this: the odds of getting it 100 percent correct are 1 in 9.2 quintillion (a number string 19 digits long). But yet many of us still play, and there’s good reason for…

### Abel Prize for maths awarded to woman for first time

Karen Uhlenbeck, a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University in the US, is the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Abel Prize in mathematics The Abel Prize in mathematics was on Tuesday awarded to Karen Uhlenbeck of the United States for her work on partial differential equations, the first woman to win the…

### Securing a future for humanities: the clue is in the name| Letters

Your editorial in defence of the humanities (13 March) is well timed and well argued. The UK needs the contribution of Stem graduates and that made by graduates with knowledge, skills and understanding gained through study of the humanities and wider social sciences. And geography, a subject that is a humanity, a social science and…

### Ruth Rogers obituary

My friend and colleague Ruth Rogers, who has died aged 91, was a mathematician deeply involved with solving important engineering problems. Her main area of interest was in fluid mechanics, and in particular rotating fluids – a meeting point between engineering and meteorology. It was here that Ruth was able to make some of her…