Joyce Fletcher obituary

My aunt Joyce Fletcher, who has died aged 88, was an educationist who taught in Britain and Nigeria, where she worked on a series of maths books for primary schools, including teacher guides and workbooks, which became widely used. A couple of years ago when she was in hospital, one of the nurses, Nigerian by…

Math sheds light on how living cells 'think'

Credit: Queensland University of Technology How does the ‘brain’ of a living cell work, allowing an organism to function and thrive in changing and unfavourable environments? Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Dr. Robyn Araujo has developed new mathematics to solve a longstanding mystery of how the incredibly complex biological networks within cells can adapt…

Math puzzle goes viral

The puzzle. Credit: University of Huddersfield A University of Huddersfield lecturer has puzzled the world. Ed Southall already had a big following for the maths posers that he posts online and publishes in book form. But his latest conundrum has gone globally viral. Deceptively simple, it is a pink triangle inside a square, accompanied…

Amateur mathematician partially solves 60-year-old problem

The 1581-vertex, non-4-colourable unit-distance graph G. Credit: arXiv:1804.02385 [math.CO] Professional biologist and amateur mathematician Aubrey de Grey has partially solved the Hadwiger-Nelson problem, which has vexed mathematicians since 1950. He has published a paper describing the solution on the arXiv preprint server. The Hadwiger-Nelson problem came about when Edward Nelson and Hugo Hadwiger wondered about…

New study improves 'crowd wisdom' estimates

Aaron Leventman estimates how many beads are in the jar. Credit: Scott Wagner via Santa Fe Institute In 1907, a statistician named Francis Galton recorded the entries from a weight-judging competition as people guessed the weight of an ox. Galton analyzed hundreds of estimates and found that while individual guesses varied wildly, the median of…