CTK Insights

Archive for the 'Applications' Category

25 May

Pundits

TweetPaul Meehl's (1954) book Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence appeared 25 years ago. It reviewed studies indicating that the prediction of numerical criterion variables of psychological interest (e.g., faculty ratings of graduate students who had just obtained a Ph.D.) from numerical predictor variables (e.g., scores on the […]

01 Aug

Distance to the Horizon on the Fourth of July

TweetI had the luck to celebrate the past 4th of July with our friends in their newly acquired home just above the marina in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. The view from their backyard was absolutely breathtaking. The ambient light that appeared to blur the background made the view even more enchanting. Here is a map that […]

06 Jul

Weather Forecasting: A Story of Mathematical Triumph

But naturally, mathematics was not evolving all by itself. The authors excel in presenting establishment of the science of meteorology as a human endeavor. The history of meteorology is rich in perseverance, sacrifice, enthusiasm, ingenuity, useful missteps, multinational collaboration ... and plain hard work. Authors' fluent recount makes the story all the more fascinating, even if math applications are only at the back of your mind. The book is a superior read.

20 Mar

The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible

The only known serious approach to the N versus NP problem today is due to Ketan Mulmuley from t he University of Chicago. He has shown that solving some difficult problems in a mathematical field called algebraic geometry (considerably more complex than high school algebra and geometry) may lead to a proof that N ≠ NP. But resolving these algebraic geometry problems may require mathematical techniques far beyond what we have available today.

12 Mar

Why cats land on their feet - a problem of 80 years standing!

Now, the thing that surprised me most in the course of the investigation was a wikipedia reference to the 1969 article by T. Kane and M. P. Scher "A dynamical explanation of the falling cat phenomenon" (International Journal of Solids and Structures 5 (7): 663–670. doi:10.1016/0020-7683(69)90086-9), as the solution as "originally due to (Kane & Scher 1969)." This appears to imply that the problem remained (officially, at least) unsolved for about 80 long years - quite on a par with the, say, better known Poincaré conjecture. But think of it, most probably the members of the Académie des sciences in Paris were not the first to ponder the question, which leads to a conclusion that the question has a much longer history. Hmm, I would never guess.

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