Archive for the ‘Mathematics & Statistics’ Category

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. This is my contribution. (If you don’t think mathematics should be included in “technology”, you’re probably not using very good technology.) During my final year of my mathematics undergraduate degree, a group of us used to spend […]

The Economist has another example of a graph that tells the viewer, well, nothing. Last time it was due to comparisons between data sets which weren’t really comparable. This time, it’s an odd choice of data to start with. Apparently, trade diversity is important. My study of economics did not go beyond A-level, but I’m […]

Simon Jenkins is arguing on the Guardian website that learning mathematics in school is a waste of time. In exactly those words. He starts off by criticising a recent study (PDF) by Reform. The study is mostly critical of mathematics teaching in the UK, concluding that it compares unfavourably with many other developed and developing […]

Statistics are amazing. They can tell you anything. In fact, given a data set, you can find statistics that can conclude absolutely anything you want, regardless of the data itself. And then you can display the results neatly in a graph, in order to convey your point concisely and clearly. Bearing that in mind, today […]

When I was eleven, I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I’d like to claim that this was a result of precocious mathematical ability and an innate sense of algorithms, patterns and parity. In actual fact, it was the result of a summer spent in the Lake District, where it rained almost every day. […]

Recent research suggests that mathematics is an unpopular subject because it has an image problem. Many students and undergraduates seem to think of mathematicians as old, white, middle-class men who are obsessed with their subject, lack social skills and have no personal life outside maths. The student’s views of maths itself included narrow and inaccurate […]