Mathematics - General News

Plus Advent Calendar Door #17: Complex square roots

 Mathematics - General News
 17 December 2021
This article about complex numbers is a little advanced. See here for a basic introduction to complex numbers. Every positive real number has two square roots, one being the negative of the other. It's easy to tell them apart by specifying whether you're looking at the positive or the negative...

Plus Advent Calendar Door #15: Complex numbers

 Mathematics - General News
 15 December 2021
Solving equations often involves taking square roots of numbers and if you're not careful you might accidentally take a square root of something that's negative. That isn't allowed of course, but if you hold your breath and just carry on, then you might eventually square the illegal entity again and...

Plus Advent Calendar Door #14: Opening the black box

 Mathematics - General News
 14 December 2021
Many aspects of our lives today are possible thanks to machine learning – where a machine is trained to do a specific, yet complex, job. We no longer think twice about speaking to our digital devices, clicking on recommended products from online stores, or using language translation apps and...

Plus Advent Calendar Door #13: Gradient descent algorithms

 Mathematics - General News
 13 December 2021
You are out on a mountain and the mist has descended. You can't see the path, let alone where it leads, so how on Earth do you find your way down to the safety of the village at the bottom of the mountain? Never fear! Maths has come to your rescue! You can use a gradient descent algorithm – a...


 Mathematics - General News
 12 December 2021
Forest Ho-ChenTwo shapes are similar if they're exactly they are the same shape, but a different size and/or located in a different position in space through rotation, translation or reflection. The amount by which one shape needs to be blown up (or reduced) to get the other is called the scaling...

How to work out doubling time

 Mathematics - General News
 11 December 2021
Marianne FreibergerWith the emergence of the omicron variant, and COVID-19 cases on a steep rise in many European countries anyway, we're back dealing with concepts many of us had hoped we'd left behind. Exponential growth, fast growth rates — and rapid doubling times. A scientifically accurate...