Mathematics

What do you get when you mix theorists in computer science with evolutionary biologists? You get an algorithm to explain sex.

A fascinating mystery of evolution is how sexual recombination and natural selection produced the teeming diversity of life that exists today. The answer could lie in the game that genes play during sexual recombination, so computer scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, created an algorithm to describe the strategy used by these genes in this game.  


What did USC biomedical engineering assistant professor Megan McCain think when she first saw a real human heart, with all of those thin valves that have to open and close every second of our lives?

“Wow, there’s a lot of plaques of fat. I need to stop eating French fries.”

Nine years later, the “cardiac tissue engineer,” is trying to re-create the human heart on a chip.

I'd like to share some of the amazing range of rhythms you can find, linking music and maths, some discovered only in the last few years. These include: fibonacci gamelan patterns - highly structured yet the pattern of beats never repeats; the rhythm you get if two musicians each with perfectly steady rhythm play as out of time as possible; the rhythm of the famous "Cantor's set"; and the fairly recent discovery that many rhythms of music throughout the world are "Euclidean rhythms" - uneven beat patterns pleasing to the ear made with a surprisingly simple construction.

The modern world of Big Data increasingly requires knowledge of statistics and biologists are scrambling to master that along with all of the expertise needed to solve mysteries of nature.

A new statistical framework could help, according to a new paper, because it can substantially increase the power of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to detect genetic influences on human disease.

Despite the proliferation of
genome-wide association studies
, the associations found so far have largely failed to account for the known effects of genes on complex disease — the problem of "missing heritability." Standard approaches also struggle to find combinations of multiple genes that affect disease risk in complex ways, known as genetic interactions.


What ties together Lissajous knots, the harmonic polyrhythms of Theremin's rhythmicon, and a way of adding sounds to Pendulum waves? And do they have healing properties? And what is the musical maths of sloth canon number sequences? 

It's been a decades-long experiment to throw darts at a dartboard and see if it outperforms the picks of experts. Darts win and lose at the same rate as the average of experts.

Some people clearly make money in financial markets but the old saying among brokers = 'we make money selling stocks, not buying them' - still applies.

Yet someone must know what they are doing. And backtesting is a good way to seem empirical. Example: Your financial advisor calls you up to suggest a new
investment scheme. Drawing on 20 years of data, he has set his
computer to work on this question: If you had invested according to
this scheme in the past, which portfolio would have been the best?
His model assembles thousands of such simulated portfolios and


Mathematicians are not created equally. Some people are just better at it, just like Usain Bolt runs faster than, well, everyone.

But a new psychology paper says that some people may be at greater risk to fear math, not only because of negative experiences but also because of genetic risks related to both general anxiety and math skills.


I understand why someone living in the city might get a slice of pizza - they don't want to carry a box of pizza back to the office, and there is something nice about sitting down and having a quick bite.

But I have never understood why anyone buys a medium pizza, much less a small. If you understand what a circle is, and you understand what a dollar is, it makes no sense.

First, the dollar. The economics should be obvious; like buying any food in bulk, you can see there are fixed costs. A small pizza or a large has someone making it, it has an oven in a shop. Those costs are fixed regardless of which pizza you get. The actual ingredient differences between a small and a large are not a big cost.
Two computer scientists at at the University of Liverpool think they have successfully cracked the Erdős discrepancy problem (for a particular discrepancy bound C=2), an 80 year old maths puzzle proposed by the Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős, who offered $500 for its solution.

They just can't be sure, because it is too big for a human to replicate.The resulting proof generated is an enormous 13 gigabytes, 30 percent larger than downloading all of the content on Wikipedia.

There is a reason some schools on the coast of California only have a 25 percent vaccination rate. Not 25 percent exemption, 25 percent vaccination. In California overall, exemptions rates rose by 25 percent just between 2008 and 2010 and that trend has been mirrored in states like Washington and Oregon.

The recent rash in anti-vaccination hysteria can be mathematically modeled, say scholars from the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo.