Phys.org News Feeds

  • The golden ratio: An ancient Greek formula could be responsible for most hit musicals
    on May 14, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    “What’s the secret to your success?” A simple question asked frequently of those who have achieved greatness in their field. Sometimes, that secret is so well disguised even the successful individual is unaware of its influence.

  • The emergence of cooperation: Team mathematically describes importance of cooperation and reputation
    on May 13, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Cooperation as a successful strategy has evolved in both nature and human society, but understanding its emergence can be a difficult task. Researchers have to abstract interactions between individuals into mathematical formulas to be able to create a model that can be used for predictions and simulations.

  • A new bridge between the geometry of fractals and the dynamics of partial synchronization
    on May 12, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    In mathematics, simple equations can generate a complex evolution in time and intriguing patterns in space. One famous example of this is the Mandelbrot set, named after the French-American mathematician of Polish origin, Benoit B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010), the most studied fractal. This set is based on a single quadratic equation with only one parameter and one variable. The fascinating fractal patterns of the Mandelbrot set have attracted attention far beyond mathematics.

  • Mathematicians find core mechanism to calculate tipping points
    on May 10, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Climate change, a pandemic or the coordinated activity of neurons in the brain: In all of these examples, a transition takes place at a certain point from the base state to a new state. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered a universal mathematical structure at these so-called tipping points. It creates the basis for a better understanding of the behavior of networked systems.

  • When will your elevator arrive? Two physicists do the math
    on May 3, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    The human world is, increasingly, an urban one—and that means elevators. Hong Kong, the hometown of physicist Zhijie Feng (Boston University), adds new elevators at the rate of roughly 1500 every year…making vertical transport an alluring topic for quantitative research.

  • Benefits of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks, modeling study suggests
    on April 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is suspected of being linked to a small number of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) cases, which recently emerged within Europe as millions of people received vaccinations. This led several countries to suspend AstraZeneca injections and investigate the causal links to DVT.

  • ‘Star light, star bright’ as explained by math
    on April 26, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    The evolving periodicity of the brightness of certain types of stars can now be described mathematically.

  • New modeling provides greater scrutiny for supply chains
    on April 8, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Unethical or destructive practices can be hidden within supply chains bringing us items we want and need. Dr. Arne Geschke uses data to drill into the complex global production web.

  • Big data tells story of diversity, migration of math’s elite
    on March 30, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Math’s top prize, the Fields Medal, has succeeded in making mathematics more inclusive, but still rewards elitism, according to a Dartmouth study.

  • Insufficient financial reporting may lead to underestimation of environmental liabilities
    on March 25, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    European listed companies in the energy and mining sector provide, to say the least, sparse information on future environmental costs in their annual reports. Researchers believe that stricter guidelines are required as the lack of information may lead to underestimation of environmental liabilities, resulting in that future generations may have to bear the burden of cleanup costs.

  • Using econometrics to define effective COVID-19 lockdown strategies
    on March 23, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Konstantinos Tatsiramos, Professor of Labour Economics in the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Luxembourg, and colleagues Nikos Askitas (Coordinator of Data and Technology, IZA-Institute of Labor Economics) and Bertrand Verheyden (Senior Researcher, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research) evaluate the effects of 8 lockdown policies on the daily number of confirmed COVID-19 new cases and on the mobility patterns of the populations across 175 countries. The results were published recently in the journal Scientific Reports. These policies are international travel controls, public transport closures, cancelation of public events, restrictions on private gatherings, school and workplace closures, stay-at-home requirements, and internal mobility restrictions (across cities and regions).

  • New tool can help predict the next financial bubble
    on March 22, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    An international team of interdisciplinary researchers has identified mathematical metrics to characterize the fragility of financial markets. Their paper “Network geometry and market instability” sheds light on the higher-order architecture of financial systems and allows analysts to identify systemic risks like market bubbles or crashes.

  • Data scientists build more honest prediction models
    on March 19, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    On Nov. 3, 2020—and for many days after—millions of people kept a wary eye on the presidential election prediction models run by various news outlets. With such high stakes in play, every tick of a tally and twitch of a graph could send shockwaves of overinterpretation.

  • Cybersecurity pioneers win mathematics Abel Prize
    on March 17, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    The Abel Prize, which honours achievements in mathematics, was awarded Wednesday to Hungarian Laszlo Lovasz and Israeli Avi Wigderson for their contributions to computer security, the Norwegian Academy of Science said.

  • After cracking the ‘sum of cubes’ puzzle for 42, researchers discover a new solution for 3
    on March 11, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    What do you do after solving the answer to life, the universe, and everything? If you’re mathematicians Drew Sutherland and Andy Booker, you go for the harder problem.

  • Financial crashes, pandemics, Texas snow: How math could predict ‘black swan’ events
    on March 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    What if mathematicians could have seen COVID-19 coming, or could predict the next outbreak? Is it possible that numbers, manipulated by statistics, might warn of future market fluctuations and environmental disasters, or herald vast shifts in finance, trade, and employment?

  • Swiss statistical systems enhanced by big data
    on March 3, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    A huge volume of digital data has been harvested, stored and shared in the last few years from sources such as social media, geolocation systems and aerial images from drones and satellites, giving researchers many new ways to study information and decrypt our world. In Switzerland, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has taken an interest in the big data revolution and the possibilities it offers to generate predictive statistics for the benefit of society.

  • Graph theory helps biologists study homeostasis
    on March 3, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Healthy human bodies are good at regulating: Our temperatures remain around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter how hot or cold the temperature around us. The sugar levels in our blood remain fairly constant, even when we down a glass of juice. We keep the right amount of calcium in our bones and out of the rest of our bodies.

  • In response to Stephen Colbert, professor says ‘spice it up’
    on February 17, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    To provoke more interest and excitement for students and lecturers alike, a professor from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is spicing up the study of complex differential mathematical equations using relevant history of algebra. In a paper published in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Isaac Elishakoff, Ph.D., provides a refreshing perspective and a special “shout out” to Stephen Colbert, comedian and host of CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His motivation? Colbert previously referred to mathematical equations as the devil’s sentences and an unnatural commingling of letters and numbers—with the worst being the quadratic equation—an infernal salad of numbers, letters and symbols.

  • Mathematician suggests a scheme for solving telegraph equations
    on February 11, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    A mathematician from RUDN University suggested a stable difference scheme for solving inverse problems for elliptic-telegraph and differential equations that are used to describe biological, physical, and sociological processes. The results of the study were published in the Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations journal.

  • Mathematicians develop new classes of stellar dynamics systems solutions
    on February 5, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    The Vlasov-Poisson equations describe many important physical phenomena such as the distribution of gravitating particles in interstellar space, high-temperature plasma kinetics, and the Landau damping effect. A joint team of scientists from the Mathematical Institute of RUDN University and the Mathematical Institute of the University of Munich suggested a new method to obtain stationary solutions for a system of Vlasov-Poisson equations in a three-dimensional case. The obtained solutions describe the phenomena of stellar dynamics. The results of the study were published in the Doklady Mathematics journal.

  • The Ramanujan Machine: Researchers have developed a ‘conjecture generator’ that creates mathematical conjectures
    on February 5, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Using AI and computer automation, Technion researchers have developed a ‘conjecture generator’ that creates mathematical conjectures, which are considered to be the starting point for developing mathematical theorems. They have already used it to generate a number of previously unknown formulas. The study, which was published in the journal Nature, was carried out by undergraduates from different faculties under the tutelage of Assistant Professor Ido Kaminer of the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion.

  • How game theory could have reduced costs of PPE for frontline healthcare workers
    on February 2, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Kingston University London researchers have used a mathematical model known as game theory to explore how the challenge of securing sufficient levels of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic could have been mitigated.

  • An app-based recommendation framework for investor adoption of crypto assets
    on January 27, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Consumers regularly choose books, music, travel destinations and other activities based on recommendations by many people on e-commerce or social media platforms.

  • Simulating cities under pandemic conditions to make predictions about future outbreaks
    on January 27, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    An international team of researchers has used modeling techniques borrowed from chemistry applications to create a new kind of city simulator. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the group describes using their models to create simulations of of COVID-19 spread for two real-world cities: Birmingham England and Bogota Columbia.

  • Researchers find value in comparison of multiple strategies for mathematics teaching and learning
    on January 25, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    How can cognitive science principles support the deepening of mathematics education? A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development and Harvard University’s graduate school of education explored how using a basic learning process—comparison—could lead to stronger outcomes for K-12 students in mathematics, and analyzed different approaches for incorporating comparison into curriculum. A summary of the research findings from Peabody College researchers Bethany Rittle-Johnson and Kelley Durkin, in collaboration with Jon Star from Harvard University, was recently published in the December 2020 edition of Current Directions in Psychological Sciences.

  • A mathematical framework enables accurate characterization of shapes
    on January 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    In nature, many things have evolved that differ in size, color and, above all, in shape. While the color or size of an object can be easily described, the description of a shape is more complicated. In a study now published in Nature Communications, Jacqueline Nowak of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and her colleagues have outlined a new and improved way to describe shapes based on a network representation that can also be used to reassemble and compare shapes.

  • Data-driven rating system makes it easier to select sports teams
    on January 15, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Picking the right sports team for a particular event or to play in certain conditions is many a selector’s nightmare.

  • How probability forecasts are phrased affects how people make predictions
    on January 11, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    A regular traveler is planning an overseas trip but hasn’t purchased her plane ticket. So she visits various websites that can predict whether the cost of her ticket will rise or fall.

  • What is a margin of error? This statistical tool can help you understand vaccine trials and political polling
    on January 7, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    In the last year, statistics have been unusually important in the news. How accurate is the COVID-19 test you or others are using? How do researchers know the effectiveness of new therapeutics for COVID-19 patients? How can television networks predict the election results long before all the ballots have been counted?