Mathematics - Research News

A brief history of minimal surfaces and the ants that love them

 Mathematics - Research News
 17 November 2021
Consider a soap bubble. The way it contains the minimal possible surface area is surprisingly efficient. This is not a trivial issue. Mathematicians have been looking for better ways to calculate minimal surfaces for hundreds of years. Recently, Computer Science and Engineering Department Assistant...

When is a 'basin of attraction' like an octopus?

 Mathematics - Research News
 04 November 2021
Mathematicians who study dynamical systems often focus on the rules of attraction. Namely, how does the choice of the starting point affect where a system ends up? Some systems are easier to describe than others. A swinging pendulum, for example, will always land at the lowest point no matter where...

New mathematical tools to study opinion dynamics

 Mathematics - Research News
 06 October 2021
Research published in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics describes a new mathematical model for studying influence across social networks. Using tools from the field of topology, Robert Ghrist and Ph.D. graduate Jakob Hansen developed a framework to track how opinions change over time in a wide...

Mathematicians solve an old geometry problem on equiangular lines

 Mathematics - Research News
 04 October 2021
Equiangular lines are lines in space that pass through a single point, and whose pairwise angles are all equal. Picture in 2D the three diagonals of a regular hexagon, and in 3D, the six lines connecting opposite vertices of a regular icosahedron. Mathematicians are not limited to three dimensions,...

Music download patterns found to resemble infectious disease epidemic curves

 Mathematics - Research News
 22 September 2021
A team of mathematicians at the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind in Canada, has found that music download patterns resemble the patterns found in disease epidemics. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the group describes applying a standard model used to describe...