Mathematics

Using maths to improve ocean rescue
New algorithm promises to find missing people faster.
When someone gets lost at sea, every minute counts, as the probability of finding people alive plunges after six hour...

Conversation
How to understand coronavirus graphs
There are lots of numbers, but what are they saying?
Wrapping your head around the scale of a global pandemic is not easy, and the volume of stats and data can be bewilde...

Conversation
How social distancing flattens the curve
A mathematician explains the mechanics.
People travelling into Australia will now have to selfisolate for 14 days – one of a range of measures announced at ...

Focus
Even computers can’t get pi exactly right
But we’ll celebrate it on International Day of Maths.
You’ve probably heard of “pi day”, informally celebrated in several countries on March 14. That’s because writing thi...

Rachmaninoff rocked, says computer model
Novelty/influence comparison says he was the most innovative.
Rachmaninoff was the most innovative composer from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras of music (1700 to 1900) i...

Focus
Power and pitfalls of symbolic equations
Tracing the history of all those x’s and y’s.
Some people have bad memories of high school algebra, with all those x’s and y’s that seem to come from nowhere, as i...

A better espresso, the scientific way
A multidisciplinary team says its coffee quality adds up.
You know coffee is serious business when mathematicians, physicists and materials scientists start working together o...

History
History: AlKhwarizmi, maths master
Persian composed the oldest works on arithmetic and algebra.
AlKhwarizmi featured on a stamp released by the then USSR in 1983 to mark what was considered the 1200th anniversary...

Bivalves explained
The mathematical and mechanical mystery of interlocking shells.
Perfect interlocking of the two valves in the brachiopod fossil Kutchirhynchia obsoleta. Below: A simulated bivalved ...

David Harvey wins AustMS Medal
UNSW mathematician recognised by national society.
Associate Professor David Harvey demonstrating the oldschool method of multiplication which is impractical when mult...

Maybe you shouldn’t follow the leader
Model suggests performance ranking reduces meritocracy.
By Ian ConnellanIt’s one of the least engaging aspects of a modern economy: the mania to quantify and rank the perfor...

History
Gladys West maps the future
She played a ‘pivotal role’ in a popular technology.
A brief item appeared on the Cosmos website on 6 March 2019 with the headlines “A mathematician, idolised”, and “GPS ...