Mathematics

Usually when you turn on the tube, you can be fairly certain what you are going to see—you know a show’s genre, actors, and reputation and even supposedly unscripted reality television rarely bucks expectations.
    Enter the Academy Awards.
    Some years it’s great and other years David Letterman hosts. That’s part of the fun and one reason an average of nearly 45 million viewers tune in every year—we crave the potential to catch Madonna yelling at the sound tech after her microphone failed to emerge from the floor; we love the behind-the-scenes stories of Russell Crowe intentionally mucking the names of best actress nominees; we revel in Tom Hanks’ unintentional outing of his high school drama teacher; we merrily cringe at Antonio’s atonal duet with Santana.

When you turn on the Oscars, what are you really watching? Most people admit it's a good excuse for a fashion show. And it seems an obvious choice between Keira Knightley’s elegant, wine-colored Vera Wang and Gwyneth’s 2003 gothic horror show. But then why, if it’s that obvious, do stars continue to mistake the Oscars for that other dress-up day on the 31st of October? With a cadre of stylists, trainers and designers, and without needing to fit the dress inside a small pocketbook, wouldn’t you think they could get it right every time?

Now they can.

 Will Her Oscar Dress Be A Hit?

 

Dress Score Equation

A mathematical model of disease cycles developed at the University of Michigan shows promise for predicting cholera outbreaks.

Speaking in a symposium titled "New Vistas in the Mathematics of Ecology and Evolution" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco, theoretical ecologist Mercedes Pascual will discuss how models that she and coworkers have developed can aid short-term forecasting of infectious diseases, such as cholera, and inform decisions about vaccination and other disease-prevention strategies.

In research done over the past seven years, Pascual and colleagues have found evidence that a phenomenon known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a major source of climate variability from year to year, influence

At last, neuroscience is having an impact on computer science and artificial intelligence (AI). For the first time, scientists in Tomaso Poggio’s laboratory at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT applied a computational model of how the brain processes visual information to a complex, real world task: recognizing the objects in a busy street scene. The researchers were pleasantly surprised at the power of this new approach.

“People have been talking about computers imitating the brain for a long time,” said Poggio, who is also the Eugene McDermott Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the co-director of the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at MIT. “That was Alan Turing’s original motivation in the 1940s.

Suzuki roshi, in his wonderful Zen mind, beginner's mind, talks about the mental approach necessary for the study of Zen. It's an open, naïve attitude, without preconceptions and without habits which limit thought into certain patterns. I think it's the same as that the scientist should employ.

Scientificblogging.com math whiz Garth Sundem was on Good Morning America today - even better, Diane Sawyer referred to him as both 'genius' and 'charming.' I bet she says that to all the writers! Garth talked about his book, Geek Logik and did live demos of his equations. Congratulations, Garth!