Monday, May 27, 2013

MoAR: surprises, mostly non-mathematical.

so yes: this week's round-up is late. i blame it all on yesterday's airport transit and today's busy routine in hosting a(nother) visitor.

anyway, most of these aren't really maths related at all ..


well, i suppose that it's a form of internet addiction .. but really?
"I don't think it's very healthy" is the confession of Pavel Lepin, a 35-year-old in the Latvian city of Jelgava who has earned certificates in "about 30" MOOCs, some from Coursera, some from Udacity, and some from edX. "My friends and co-workers are already making fun of me for being a Coursera addict."

Mr. Seiter agrees that it as possible to learn as much online as in a traditional course, but that to do so usually requires doing optional readings, which most MOOCers skip.

~ from "What Professors Can Learn From 'Hard Core' MOOC Students" @the_chronicle
.. and now, from the physicists:
"Physicists have long known that quantum mechanics allows for a subtle connection between quantum particles called entanglement, in which measuring one particle can instantly set the otherwise uncertain condition, or "state," of another particle—even if it's light years away. Now, experimenters in Israel have shown that they can entangle two photons that don't even exist at the same time. "

~ from "Physicists Create Quantum Link Between Photons That Don't Exist at the Same Time" @sciencenow

measuring intelligence .. somehow?

to some degree, the mechanism seems right .. but does it account for cultural differences?
"This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose brains are better at automatically suppressing background motion perform better on standard measures of intelligence."

~ from "Motion Quotient "
.. and as for more "depressing" news ..
"This paper proposes to analyse the relationships between depression and high intellectual potential through a multidisciplinary and original approach. Based on their respective experience in psychology and child psychiatry, the authors will focus their analysis on creative potential .. This case study sheds light on the paradoxical role of depression in the overinvestment in intellectual and creative spheres as well as on the impact of traumatic events on high intellectual potential."

~ from "Relationships between Depression and High Intellectual Potential" @hindawi:drt

lastly, a breakthrough.

i would call this an amazing feat of mathematical "engineering" .. which is its own kind of genius. still, i wonder how many mathematicians are slightly disappointed at the lack of new tools that this solution provides.
"As details of his work have emerged, it has become clear that Zhang achieved his result not via a radically new approach to the problem, but by applying existing methods with great perseverance. “The big experts in the field had already tried to make this approach work,” Granville said. “He’s not a known expert, but he succeeded where all the experts had failed.” "

~ from "Unheralded Mathematician Bridges the Prime Gap" @simonsfoundation

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