On a collision course with game theory

Attention, collision ahead! What’s true for rugby players also applies to pedestrians talking a walk in the city – and can now be calculated. Credit: Fanny Schertzer / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 How do pedestrians behave in a large crowd? How do they avoid collisions? How can their paths be modeled? A new approach…

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…