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Archive for April, 2019

Probability – flip a coin for $1b

April30

Here is another chance to look at probability, and one that you might be allowed to play in class! Flip a coin continuously until a tail appears for the first time. If this doesn’t happen until the 20th (or later) flip, you win $1 billion. If the first tail appears before the 20th flip, you […]

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Guilty or innocent? Math in the Courtroom Part II

April29

In 2003, a Dutch nurse named Lucia de Berk was accused of murdering several patients. She was sent to prison for six years in before her conviction was overturned in 2010. The reason for the overturning? The prosecutor and the judges behind the conviction could not do math correctly. The grade 11 class delved deep […]

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Probability to the Defense

April28

So, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court, when it was overturned on the basis of probability arguments. The defense attorney argued that 1/12,000,000 was not the relevant probability (see previous post). In a city the size of Los Angeles, with maybe 2,000,000 couples, the probability was not that small, he argued, that there […]

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Probabilities and Courtroom Drama

April26

In 1964 a Los Angeles blond woman with a ponytail snatched a purse from another woman. The thief was spotted entering a yellow car driven by a black man with a beard and a mustache. The police eventually found a blond woman with a ponytail who regularly associated with a bearded and mustachioed black man […]

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Mathematics rates 2nd in ‘Best Jobs of 2018’

April24

Careers in STEM — like Mathematician, Statistician, Data Scientist and Actuary — shape the Best Jobs of 2018, which is no deviation from recent trends. However, a job tracked by the Jobs Rated Report for the first time, Genetic Counselor, is No. 1. And with 29% growth outlook, this healthcare field speaks to the advancements […]

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Misbehaving Prime Numbers

April21

Two academics have shocked themselves and the world of mathematics by discovering a pattern in prime numbers. Primes – numbers greater than 1 that are divisible only by themselves and 1 – are considered the ‘building blocks’ of mathematics, because every number is either a prime or can be built by multiplying primes together – (84, […]

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Pure Gold in Math

April19

In Mathematics there are numbers that are like pure gold – they glow with special properties. Like the magic ring in Lord of the Rings, they release powers of the imagination and can be used to inflict their magic on those unsuspecting students who look at them too closely. Yes, we are talking about The […]

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Notre Dame – Mathematics on Fire?

April17

A very sad moment when we heard yesterday that Notre Dame cathedral was ablaze in Paris. H3 visited this amazing Gothic cathedral just a few years ago and the soaring roof detail seemed inexplicable – its heavy brick pattern seeming unsupported. Yes, this fire-proof lining may have saved the cathedral from absolute ruin. Notre Dame […]

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Pedestrian Mathematics

April17

In a drizzling rain, a 63-year-old professor, George Nobl, stood on a stretch of Times Square sidewalk the other day beside an easel blithely daring passers-by to solve a math problem. ”Fred can paint a room in three hours,” the problem, printed in block letters on paper pinned to the easel, said. ”Mary can paint […]

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Math Prof wakes early to view black hole image

April11

Astronomers have captured the first image of a black hole, proving the University of Canterbury’s distinguished Professor Roy Kerr’s 56-year-old theory correct. Kerr said he set his alarm for 1am to see this exciting event. “The event horizon telescope photo is just the beginning of a new phase in the understanding of our universe. “The […]

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