Detecting tsunamis

Credit: Cardiff University Mathematicians have devised a way of calculating the size of a tsunami and its destructive force well in advance of it making landfall by measuring fast-moving underwater sound waves, opening up the possibility of a real-time early warning system. The sound waves, known as acoustic gravity waves (AGWs), are naturally occurring and…

Learning through play is plane easy | Letters

Lin Friend on getting her early-years class to play airports; maths is fun, says Karl Sabbagh Children playing pure mathematics, alias chess, with Russian grandmaster and former world champion Garry Kasparov. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images I was an early years teacher for most of my career (Letters, 16 January). One afternoon our new head who was…

Math can predict how cancer cells evolve

Cancer cells. Credit: Dr. Cecil Fox, National Cancer Institute Applied mathematics can be a powerful tool in helping predict the genesis and evolution of different types of cancers, a study from the University of Waterloo has found. The study used a form of mathematical analysis called evolutionary dynamics to look at how malignant mutations evolve…

GIMPS project discovers largest known prime number

Prime Numbers The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has discovered the largest known prime number, 277,232,917-1, having 23,249,425 digits. A computer volunteered by Jonathan Pace made the find on December 26, 2017. Jonathan is one of thousands of volunteers using free GIMPS software. The new prime number, also known as M77232917, is calculated…

How Facebook could stop a disease outbreak

Credit: National Cancer Institute Facebook accounts and telephone records can be used to pinpoint the best individuals to vaccinate to stop a disease outbreak in its tracks, researchers said Wednesday. Such people would be “central” in their social networks, and thus likelier to spread disease-causing germs from one group to another. Assuming there is…