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Stories by Evelyn Lamb

The Mathematical Legacy of William Thurston (1946-2012)

William Thurston, whose geometrization conjecture changed the fields of geometry and topology and whose approach to mathematics and mathematics education has reverberated throughout the mathematical world, died on August 21 following a battle with cancer...

August 23, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb

Abandoning Algebra Is Not the Answer

In an opinion piece for the New York Times on Sunday, political science professor Andrew Hacker asks, "Is Algebra Necessary?" and answers, "No." It's not just algebra: geometry and calculus are on the chopping block, too...

July 30, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb

How Much Pi Do You Need?

I hope you're ready for your big Pi Approximation Day party tomorrow. You might have observed Pi Day on March 14. It gets its name from 3.14, the first three digits of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter...

July 21, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb

5 Sigma What's That?

Chances are, you heard this month about the discovery of a tiny fundamental physics particle that may be the long-sought Higgs boson. The phrase five-sigma was tossed about by scientists to describe the strength of the discovery...

July 17, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb

Scientists They re Just Like Us! They Don't Like Equations Either

I was a bit amused when I read a press release headline this week: "Scientists struggle with mathematical details." I expected the story to be about occasions when scientists had misunderstood, misinterpreted, or misapplied mathematical formulas in their published research, but instead the study in the June 25 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that research papers with lots of mathematical details are cited by other scholars less often than papers with fewer...

June 28, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb

Self-Cannibalization and Computer Graphics Win 2012 Kyoto Prizes

The Inamori Foundation announced this year’s Kyoto Prizes today. Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi won the prize in Basic Science, and Dr. Ivan Edward Sutherland won the prize in Advanced Technology.Ohsumi, a professor at the Frontier Research Center of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, won for his pioneering work on autophagy...

June 22, 2012 — Evelyn Lamb
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