Published November 28, 2013
Tags: modelling, Statistics
Three Styles of Growth
Early models of population growth represented the number of people as an exponential function of time,
where is the e-folding time. For every period of length , the population increases by a factor . Exponential growth was assumed by Thomas Malthus (1798), and he predicted that the population would exhaust the food supply within a half-century. Continue reading ‘A Simple Growth Function’
The article in this week’s That’s Maths column in the Irish Times ( TM033 ) is about the Antikythera Mechanism, which might be called the First Computer.
Two storms, separated by 2000 years, resulted in the loss and the recovery of one of the most amazing mechanical devices made in the ancient world. The first storm, around 65 BC, wrecked a Roman vessel bringing home loot from Asia Minor. The ship went down near the island of Antikythera, between the Greek mainland and Crete. Continue reading ‘The Antikythera Mechanism’
An amusing puzzle appears in a recent book by John A. Adam (2013). The answer is very surprising. The book argues in terms of simultaneous equations. A simpler argument, using the diagram below, should make all clear. Continue reading ‘The Watermelon Puzzle’
Published November 7, 2013
Tags: Euler, Geometry, Topology
This week, That’s Maths in The Irish Times ( TM032 ) is about Euler’s Polyhedron Formula and its consequences.
Euler’s Polyhedron Formula
The highlight of the thirteenth and final book of Euclid’s Elements was the proof that there are just five “Platonic solids”. Recall that a regular polygon is a plane figure with all sides and angles equal, for example a square. By joining identical polygons together, we can form solid bodies called regular polyhedra. Continue reading ‘Euler’s Gem’