
14 votes

Why are quintic equations not solvable?  the Galois theory approach
3 votes 
Penrose Unilluminable Room is a room with mirrored walls that can't be fully illuminated by a single point source of light
3 votes 
How cryptocurrencies actually work
7 votes 
The hyperbolic geometry of DMT experiences
7 votes 
Repulsive Curves
4 votes 
Why everyone ignored the world's best mathematician
4 votes 
A mathematician explains what Foundation gets right about predicting the future
5 votes 
How do I calculate my family's "average family location"?
So, I just listened to a This American Life podcast called Ghost in the Machine. In one of the stories, a man decides to calculate, every week, the Average Family Location of his family. By that,...
So, I just listened to a This American Life podcast called Ghost in the Machine. In one of the stories, a man decides to calculate, every week, the Average Family Location of his family. By that, he means: once you add everyone's coordinates for every coordinate in which they've been in that period, what city/location represents the average point between them all?
I decided to do the same for my family, which will be much easier because there are no touring musicians among us. The one complication is that a good chunk of the family is on other continents, and I wouldn't want us to "meet" in the middle of the ocean. So some approximation might be warranted.
I'd be happy if someone could provide me the math, I'm fairly confident I would be able to do it with a calculator or maybe put into some crude Python. I don't think I need to make a weekly report, since we're not that mobile. Maybe twice a year, or once every two months.
Thanks!
Edit: I don't know much math
Edit2: holy shit this is not simple at all! Now I feel kinda bad for throwing this problem at you guys. I really thought it would be quick and easy!
9 votes 
I need cool facts about huge numbers
So, my 5yearold nephew is obsessed with huge numbers, especially named numbers such as googol, duodecillion, and centillion. The other day I spent some time reciting these numbers to him, and...
So, my 5yearold nephew is obsessed with huge numbers, especially named numbers such as googol, duodecillion, and centillion. The other day I spent some time reciting these numbers to him, and trying (and failing) to describe them. What I need are some cool facts about these numbers, such as "there are 1 quadrillion cat hairs in the world", or "there are not enough stars in the universe to fill one googol".
Besides math, his main interests are superheroes and, apparently, cars.
I'm not a math or physics guy, so hopefully you guys can help me cheat :P
12 votes 
Integrating using light
9 votes 
The most powerful computers you've never heard of
6 votes 
Bertrand's Paradox (with 3blue1brown)
1 vote 
Alice, Bob, and the average shadow of a cube
4 votes 
Hiding images in plain sight: the physics of magic windows
5 votes 
The Eighteenth Elephant
6 votes 
JMathTeX
4 votes 
Lehmer Factor Stencils: A paper factoring machine before computers
2 votes 
Mathematician answers chess problem about attacking queens
8 votes 
Analytic Number Theory book club ending today
3 votes 
Our next trip to integer partitions
2 votes 
Our trip to the prime number theorem
9 votes 
Could you avoid being hit by a laser if you were in a room of mirrors?
2 votes 
Squaring primes: Why all prime numbers >3 squared are one off a multiple of 24
10 votes 
The simplest math problem no one can solve
10 votes 
Three months in Monte Carlo
4 votes 
Learning math / mathematical reasoning as an adult
For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play...
For a very, very long time, I've had a strange but persistent envy of people who have good "logical" thinking skills or who can do math well. I wish that I was the type of person who could play chess to even a passable degree, as I'm convinced a toddler could beat me. But most of all, I wish I could learn something like calculus, which has held a strange allure for me even as a young kid. But I was failing math as early as the fifth grade, and do not remember even an iota of information about geometry or trigonometry. Ultimately, I dropped out of school altogether.
A year or so ago I started in the "preK" mathematics category of Khan Academy, because I had such a low opinion of my own abilities. Sure enough, I breezed by it, but even found some parts of the second or third grade curriculum difficult. It's like I was born completely without numerical ability, but I don't want to go so far as to say I have something like dyscalculia, as I at least read analog clocks and musical notation on a daily basis, and have no problem discerning if a number is bigger or smaller than another. I'm also decidedly not aphantastic; quite the opposite. Something I do have is an extreme distrust or even hatred of my own critical thinking abilities. If I mess up simple arithmetic, I'll beat myself up mentally for being "stupid," or an "idiot," and so on for way too long. It's a habit I learned early. Complicating matters is that I'm in my midtwenties, so my neuroplasticity is probably not great. In fact, one of my deepest fears is that it's too late for me to learn any new subject to a competent degree.
This might be a ridiculous thing to say, but I'm hoping someone can reassure me that it's possible to learn math as an adult, even for a "hopeless" case like me. If you've been in a similar situation and have found particular resources helpful, I'd really like to see them. Khan Academy wasn't really my thing, but if it's more or less the best option for someone like me, I'll try it again.
22 votes 
Math Person
5 votes 
I need help with a story that involves math
I'm creating the concept for a story called The Little Differences. It's about an accountant that, one day, out of the blue, notices that a certain calculation is producing a slightly wrong...
I'm creating the concept for a story called The Little Differences. It's about an accountant that, one day, out of the blue, notices that a certain calculation is producing a slightly wrong result. Barely noticeable, nothing worldchanging,
He runs it on the computer, tries different software, a physical calculator... everything gives a result that's a little off. When he checks on paper himself, he gets the correct result. But, to his surprise, everyone else tells him that he's the one that's off, and that the incorrect result is actually perfectly sound.
I need something that makes sense, mathematically. The weird result must be something that really is wrong, and not just something that programs sometimes get wrong (I don't want it to be explained at all... I mean, the reason why it is occurring must not be something easily reducible to some wellknown malfunction). But it must also be minor enough for someone to miss, something that wouldn't really cause much trouble in the real world (is that possible? IDK).
Lastly: it must be something that I'm able to explain (on some level) to a nonmath reader.
So, Tildes math wizzes, what you suggest? :D
17 votes 
California will discourage students who are gifted at math
16 votes 
TeXMe Demo: Selfrendering Markdown + MathJax documents
6 votes 
Before you answer, consider the opposite possibility
8 votes 
MathBox^2: PowerPoint Must Die
10 votes 
The unparalleled genius of John von Neumann
13 votes 
How the slowest computer programs illuminate math’s fundamental limits
8 votes 
Imaginary numbers may be essential for describing reality
5 votes 
Sounds of the Mandelbrot set
8 votes 
You could have invented Homology, part 1
6 votes 
A picture of Graham's Number
6 votes 
How lucky is too lucky? The Minecraft speedrunning controversy explained
5 votes 
The satisfaction of mathematically efficient Christmas cookies
5 votes 
Why do Biden's votes not follow Benford's Law? Debunking an election fraud claim
24 votes 
Calculus explained and illustrated
6 votes 
Understanding hyperbolic geometry by illuminating it
3 votes 
Hyperbolica devlog #4: Projecting space
4 votes 
The universal geometry of geology
10 votes 
Proving that 1=2, Bob Ross style
6 votes 
Decoding the mathematical secrets of plants’ stunning leaf patterns
6 votes 
Mathematicians are playing a key role in fighting the pandemic by modeling different scenarios for a vaccine rollout
4 votes 
The art of code  Dylan Beattie
7 votes