Mathematical theorem finds gerrymandering in PA congressional district maps

The current congressional districting of the state of Pennsylvania. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania’s congressional district maps are almost certainly the result of gerrymandering according to an analysis based on a new mathematical theorem on bias in Markov Chains developed by Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh mathematicians. Their findings are published in the…

Mathematics is beautiful (no, really)

Fractals in stone by Jami Masjid. Credit: Ankush.sabharwal/wikipedia, CC BY-SA For many people, memories of maths lessons at school are anything but pretty. Yet “beautiful” is a word that I and other mathematicians often use to describe our subject. How on earth can maths be beautiful – and does it matter? For me, as a…

Using statistics ethically to combat 'a scientific credibility crisis'

A recent survey suggests that many researchers have tried and failed to reproduce other scientists’ experiments as well as their own. Georgetown University’s Rochelle Tractenberg, Ph.D., is on a mission to help change that by promoting ethical statistical practices. She’ll lead a panel discussion on the topic Sunday at the AAAS meeting in Boston. Credit: Georgetown University Can statistics…

'Field patterns' as a new mathematical object

A disturbance branching out with time, and at long time is localized on a field pattern. One may think of currents flowing along these lines and branching. Credit: Ornella Mattei. University of Utah mathematicians propose a theoretical framework to understand how waves and other disturbances move through materials in conditions that vary in both space…