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Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

Happy Pi Day 2008!

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on March 14, 2008

Have a very happy Pi Day!

Also, happy 129th anniversary of Albert Einstein‘s birth, and here’s hoping for a reflective and peaceful third anniversary of Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution.

homer-and-lisa-simpson-pi-button.gif

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High school math boosts college science

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on July 26, 2007

A Harvard press release details a new study showing that preparation in high school mathematics predicts better grades in college biology, chemistry, and physics. The study was conducted by Philip M. Sadler of Harvard and Robert H. Tai of the University of Virginia, and their journal article will be released in Science this week. Sadler and Tai surveyed 8,474 students taking “introductory science courses” at 63 colleges and universities and found interesting relationships between years of high school coursework and college grades. While the amount of high school background in each subject correlates with college performance for that same subject, only high school mathematics demonstrates the “halo effect” that improves college scores in other fields.

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Happy Pi Day

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on March 14, 2007

Have a very happy Pi Day, everyone!

 

Also, happy 128th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth!

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Proof is the bottom line for everyone

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on October 5, 2005

I have a confession: I haven’t seen ‘Serenity’ yet. I’ll get to it, I promise. But at the University of Chicago, everyone is excited about the movie ‘Proof’. In case you haven’t heard, it’s about an earth-shatteringly brilliant but mentally ill University of Chicago mathematician (Anthony Hopkins), who in his final years is cared for by his daughter (Gweyneth Paltrow), herself a would-be mathematical theorist. The title has multiple meanings, but one of them refers to the discovery of what may or may not be an extremely important mathematical proof, completed by the Hopkins character during a period of mental clarity. On Tuesday night, I saw a special screening of ‘Proof’ at the campus cinema. The theater was packed to capacity, and the management actually delayed the start of the film by fifteen minutes so they could fill the last few seats. In addition to being set at the University of Chicago, the exterior shots were actually filmed in Chicago. Because it was the home-town crowd, there was some unnecessary but expected cheering upon viewing familiar locations or hearing some of the characters’ particularly Chicago-centric banter (including the obligatory potshots at Northwestern). However, the movie was excellent. In addition to agreeing with Roger Ebert’s four-star review, I have my own comments and analysis.

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