Older teenagers 'quicker to improve maths and reasoning skills'

Older teenagers and young adults are able to improve their fundamental maths skills and reasoning abilities more rapidly than younger teens, according to research that overturns longstanding assumptions about children’s learning. The research, published by academics from University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, also upends ideas that tests used in grammar school selection can…

Getting the most out of fractional models

Machines make our lives easier in many ways. Whether it’s a smart thermostat that learns when to turn the heat on or automatic brakes, machines traffic in the language of classical calculus. Classical calculus is good enough to capture the basic features of biological or mechanical systems and even human behavior, but it paints a…

The mathematics of music history

Together with colleagues from London and Amsterdam, MIB postdoc Niels Chr. Hansen, analysed thousands of musical themes composed by French, Italian, and Austro-German composers living in 1600-1950. During these years, rhythmic variability in French music was initially low – just like in Italian music and language. Later on, it increased towards the natural equilibrium for…

The mathematics of music history

Together with colleagues from London and Amsterdam, MIB postdoc Niels Chr. Hansen, analysed thousands of musical themes composed by French, Italian, and Austro-German composers living in 1600-1950. During these years, rhythmic variability in French music was initially low – just like in Italian music and language. Later on, it increased towards the natural equilibrium for…

One reason so many scientific studies may be wrong

Statisticians have a saying: if you torture the data enough, they will confess. Choices and tweaks made after seeing the data are questionable research practices. Using these, deliberately or not, to achieve the right statistical result is p hacking, which is one important reason that published, statistically significant results may be false positives. What…