AMS Feature Column
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AMS Feature Column - RSS Feeden-usThe Mathematics of the Rainbow, Part II
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2015-02
I'll first recall in some detail the steps leading to Airy's formula for the intensity of light in a rainbow, and then say something about how Airy made it possible to compare his theory to experiment...Mathematics and Psychology
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2015-01
We will see that mathematics in its own terms and psychology in its own terms have benefited from their interaction with each other...How to Grow and Prune a Classification Tree
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-12
In what follows, we will describe the work of Breiman and his colleagues as set out in their seminal book "Classification and Regression Trees." Theirs is a very rich story, and we will concentrate on only the essential ideas...Why Do We Expect Lots of Twin Primes?
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-11
One important question is, how are prime numbers distributed among the integers? The answer is, in a very few words, rather randomly, given certain basic statistics...The Topology of Impossible Spaces
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-10
The purpose of this month's article is to bring once more to the public consciousness some work of Sir Roger Penrose...Mathematics and Chemistry: Partners in Understanding Our World
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-09
Here I will give a sketch of some of the issues arising from using mathematics in fields outside of mathematics, but for this column I will use examples from the area of chemistry...Congressional Redistricting and Gerrymandering
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-08
We'll look at some measures that have been created to constrain gerrymandering...Feeling Your Way Around in High Dimensions
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-06
The simplest objects of interest in any dimension, which are also the basis for approximating arbitrary objects, are the convex polytopes. and in this column I'll explain how to begin to probe them...The Knots in the Quipu, and in the Friar's Belt
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In a canonical numerical quipu, each pendent (or subsidiary) displays a number: a positive integer, expressed in decimal notation...Magical Mathematics - A Tribute to Martin Gardner
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Perhaps no one has done more to make the world aware of mathematics than Martin Gardner...How to Make a 3D Print
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-03
Mathematically speaking, the 3D print is constructed from a 1-dimensional path. This article will describe how to find that path...Stereographic Projection
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In effect, stereographic projection wraps the plane around the sphere, missing only that one point...Periods
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2014-01
After a brief introduction to the combinatorics on words, which builds on some of the same ground that was discussed in a prior note, I will look at a remarkable theorem due to the mathematicians Herbert Wilf and Nathan Jacob Fine...The Polish Attack on Enigma II: Zygalski sheets
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-12
I'll say a little bit about how the mathematics was applied to reading German messages, up until a drastic change in procedure by the Germans, and I'll say more about how the Poles recovered after this change...Fedorov's Five Parallelohedra
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-11
We will see how some elegant ideas of Conway and Sloane, introduced in the 1990s, lead to Fedorov's determination of the five parallelohedra....Spherical Dodecahedral Space
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-10
In this column I propose to work through this construction and to start by analyzing spherical dodecahedral space as an object in polyhedral geometry. ....Words and More Words
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Here I will take a brief look at some of the ways mathematics has looked at words in the hope of exploiting the resulting ideas....The Frobenius Problem: How I bought Chicken McNuggets with exact change
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-08
Though the problem seems like one from discrete mathematics, we will see an unexpected interplay between the continuous and discrete worlds as we use somewhat elementary techniques from calculus to arrive at a solution...More ENIGMA
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-06
What I want to discuss in this feature is one part of Enigma operation that has been much written about elsewhere, but which still causes some confusion. This is the way in which key presses lead to rotor motion....Galileo's Arithmetic
http://www.ams.org/samplings/feature-column/fc-2013-05
The manuscripts allow us very unusual, if not unique, access to the private calculations of a great scientist; it is as if we could look over his shoulder and watch him at work...