Can math predict what you'll do next?

Big data makes it a bit easier to guess your next move. Credit: blackboard1965/shutterstock.com Good scientists are not only able to uncover patterns in the things they study, but to use this information to predict the future. Meteorologists study atmospheric pressure and wind speed to predict the trajectories of future storms. A biologist may predict…

Mathematicians crack 44-year-old problem

Tarski proved that a circle with a radius of one cannot be completely covered by strips whose combined width is smaller than two — the circle’s diameter. Each of the strips in the image has its own length and color. Credit: MIPT Israel Institute of Technology and Alexandr Polyanskii from the Moscow Institute of Physics…

Mathematical model mimics melanoma

Mathematical model mimics melanoma. Left: melanoma cells grown in culture with normal cells form clusters that resemble proto-tumors. Right: Simulations using a modified version of the Widom-Rowlinson model replicate patterns of melanoma cell growth seen in laboratory experiments by controlling the exclusion area — the amount of space required — around two types of simulated…

New computational methodology gives unexpected answers to two Hilbert problems

A paper titled “Numerical infinities and infinitesimals: Methodology, applications, and repercussions on two Hilbert problems,” published in EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences describes a recent computational methodology related to the separation of mathematical objects from numeral systems involved in their representation. It allows mathematicians to work with infinities and infinitesimals numerically in a unique computational…

How to cut your lawn for grasshoppers

Picture a grasshopper landing randomly on a lawn of fixed area. If it then jumps a certain distance in a random direction, what shape should the lawn be to maximise the chance that the grasshopper stays on the lawn after jumping? One could be forgiven for wondering what the point of such a question might…