Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Equations in Google

You can now stick equations into Google. Try this one: sqrt(cos(x))*cos(400*x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.4)*(4-x*x)^0.1 (Thanks to Alex Bellos for this tip)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There is no maths gender gap

A soon to be published paper by Jane Mertz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Jonathan Kane of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has debunked the idea that there are genetic differences between males and females in their mathematical ability. Mertz J and Kane J (2012) Debunking Myths about Gender and Mathematics Performance, Notices of the AMS, Volume 59 Number 1 pp 10-21

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

RPI versus CPI

Jill Leyland has written an excellent summary of the issues on the Significance website of the Royal Statistical Society.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gender and confidence in mathematical ability

A new study of 14 year old Swedish high school students has found that whereas boys are overconfident, girls are actually underconfident regarding their mathematics performance. The students were asked what grade they thought they would get in a mathematics test a week later. The results were then compared with their actual grade.

I might try this out with my second year economics undergraduates next semester.

Dahlbom, L et al (2011) Gender and overconfidence: are girls really overconfident?
Applied Economics Letters Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 325 - 327.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

TED talks on maths and stats

You probably know about the wonderful TEDtalks online videos that are available on a whole range of subjects, but in case you don't they are well worth checking out.

I have recently been contacted by someone at where they have helpfully highlighted the 20 best maths TEDtalks on a page called 20 Incredible TED Talks for Math Geeks. I found the talk by Peter Donnelly (number 17 on their list) particularly interesting (and enjoyable).

If you want to keep up to date on maths and stats TEDtalks you can of course just put "TED talks on maths and stats" into Google and it will give you the currently available talks. You can also create an e-mail alert to be told about new talks as they are added.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Joy of Stats

Hans Rosling is Professor of Global Health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. For a BBC TV programme "The Joy of Stats" he has created a wonderful dynamic graphic analysis showing the evolution of health and wealth in diiferent parts of the world over the last 200 years. A YouTube video clip is available here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Comic books to help you learn mathematics

"Effective teaching of math has two parts. One is imparting the particulars of symbol twiddling. The other is explaining how to use the symbol twiddling to solve a problem" writes Kenneth Chang in his recent review in the New York Times of three comic books that aim to make maths understandable to those who fear it.

The one he likes best is HOT X: ALGEBRA EXPOSED! by Danica McKellar, who is also an actress appearing in the TV show "The Wonder Years". She has two other maths comic books out, “Math Doesn’t Suck” and “Kiss My Math,” and, according to Chang, strikes the right note in being entertaining but also accurate in terms of the maths content.