That’s Maths in *The Irish Times* this week (TM059, or Search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about data compression and its uses in modern technology.

### Information Theory

Published December 18, 2014 Irish Times Leave a CommentTags: Algorithms, Computer Science

### New Curves for Old: Inversion

Published December 11, 2014 Occasional Leave a CommentTags: Analysis, Geometry, Maps

**Special Curves**

A large number of curves, called *special curves*, have been studied by mathematicians. A curve is the path traced out by a point moving in space. To keep things simple, we assume that the point is confined to two-dimensional Euclidean space so that it generates a plane curve as it moves. This, a curve results from a mapping . Continue reading ‘New Curves for Old: Inversion’

### The Year of George Boole

Published December 4, 2014 Irish Times Leave a CommentTags: Algorithms, Computer Science, History, Logic

This week’s *That’s Maths* column in *The Irish Times* (TM058, or search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about George Boole, the first Professor of Mathematics at Queen’s College Cork.

### Falling Bodies [2]: Philae

Published November 27, 2014 Occasional Leave a CommentTags: Astronomy, Mechanics

The **ESA Rosetta Mission**, launched in March 2004, rendezvoused with comet 67P/C-G in August 2014. The lander Philae touched down on the comet on 12 November and came to rest after bouncing twice (the harpoon tethers and cold gas retro-jet failed to fire).

### Earth’s Shape and Spin Won’t Make You Thin

Published November 20, 2014 Irish Times Leave a CommentTags: Applied Maths, Geometry

Using a simple pendulum we can determine the shape of the Earth. That amazing story is told in this week’s *That’s Maths* column in *The Irish Times* (**TM057** or search for “thatsmaths” at www.irishtimes.com ).

Continue reading ‘Earth’s Shape and Spin Won’t Make You Thin’

### Falling Bodies [1]: Sky-diving

Published November 13, 2014 Occasional Leave a CommentTags: Fluid Dynamics, Geophysics, Mechanics

Aristotle was clear: heavy bodies fall faster than light ones. He arrived at this conclusion by pure reasoning, without experiment. Today we insist on a physical demonstration before such a conclusion is accepted. Galileo tested Aristotle’s theory: he dropped bodies of different weights simultaneously from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and found that, to a good approximation, they hit the ground at the same time.

### El Niño likely this Winter

Published November 6, 2014 Irish Times Leave a CommentTags: Fluid Dynamics, Geophysics, modelling, Physics

This week’s *That’s Maths* column in *The Irish Times* (**TM056** or search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about El Niño and the ENSO phenomenon.

In 1997-98, abnormally high ocean temperatures off South America caused a collapse of the anchovy fisheries. Anchovies are a vital link in the food-chain and shortages can bring great hardship. Weather extremes associated with the event caused 2000 deaths and 33 million dollars in damage to property. One commentator wrote that the warming event had “more energy than a million Hiroshima bombs”.