Category Archives: Mathematics

“Same stats, different graphs”

Do you know what “stimulated annealing” is? If not, then check out this cool project by Justin Matejka and George Fitzmaurice. The full title of their excellent work is “Same Stats, Different Graphs: Generating Datasets with Varied Appearance and Identical … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Questions Rarely Asked | Leave a comment

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

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

The Mathematics of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Check out this fun blog post by math wizard Ben Orlin, who calculates the total number of gifts in “The 12 Days of Christmas.” In the words of Mr Orlin, “The song invited a lot of questions, but one in particular leapt out … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Mathematics | 1 Comment

Presidential Meta-Poll (updated)

1. Will the results of this year’s presidential election confirm or disprove the median voter theorem? (See the helpful video below by Mandi Broderson for several simple illustrations of the median voter model.) 2. Further questions: (a) How do we determine who … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Economics, Mathematics, Politics | 3 Comments

Conway’s Cosmogram

More math art here, by Bronna A. Butler. (Hat tip: Cliff Pickover.)

Posted in Art, Mathematics | 1 Comment

Visualization of the most and least talkative Simpsons characters

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Mathematics | 6 Comments