Category Archives: Culture

May reading list

Does reading make you a better person. Probably not! But reading is a great way to expand your horizons. So, now that the spring semester is almost over, this is what we will be reading during the month of May: … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Culture, History, Law | 2 Comments

Little Data

You  may already be familiar with the term Big Data, datasets that are so gigantic that special computational methods are required to analyze them. But how about some “little data” for your pleasure? The frequency analysis pictured above, for example, … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Culture, Mathematics, Probability, Questions Rarely Asked | 1 Comment

An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Dear Mark, Like the Bob Marley song of yore, we continue to wait in vain for Facebook to introduce a “dislike” button. Although it’s your website, it’s very patronizing that you refuse to give us this choice. Nevertheless, instead of endlessly debating … Continue reading

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Who wore it best? (periodic table edition)


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Sara Berman’s closet

Among other things, the Metropolitan Museum of Art features 21 period rooms in its American Wing, ranging from a 17th-century colonial interior to an enormous Prairie-style living room by Frank Lloyd Wright, but as Penelope Green reports, “the newest addition … Continue reading

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Ancient probability

Although modern probability theory dates to the 1600s, our ancestors have been playing games of chance for a very long time. Via the amazing Cliff Pickover, for example, check out this ancient die (circa 2500 B.C.) from the Indus Valley Civilization. (Photo Credit: … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Games, History, Probability | 1 Comment

Close to zero

As we approach the end of the winter season, what are the chances of finding two identical snowflakes? According to physicist Jon Nelson (via Popular Mechanics), the chances are “essentially zero.” Or, to be more mathematically precise, the chances are one … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Mathematics, Probability, Science | 4 Comments