Just what is our problem with numbers?

Statistics. Credit: John Cairns Most people are aware of arachnophobia, but have you heard of arithmophobia? Even if you haven’t, you’ve likely come across it. Arithmophobia is the term for an irrational fear of numbers or mathematics – and it’s very common. So much so, that while people are usually too embarrassed to admit to…

Mathematicians ask: What's in a ripple?

Schematic diagram showing the typical profile of fluid height across an undular bore. Credit: Qiao Wang When a fluid or a gas experiences a sudden disturbance, such as a change in pressure or elevation, it often gives rise to a phenomenon known as an undular bore, which consists of a series of rapid oscillations that…

Streamlined security: Optimizing sensor placement with mathematics

An increasing global reliance on—and demand for—heightened security in public and private settings calls for optimal sensor technology. Public places, such as shopping malls, banks, transportation hubs, museums, and parking lots, frequently benefit from cameras and motion detectors, which identify suspicious and unwelcome activity. However, placing security sensors to optimize resource management and system performance…