#### Introduction

#### Brainstorming

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#### Articles

#### From the Coastline Paradox to Fractals

Elias Wirth

September 17, 2018

In the year 1950, the English mathematician Lewis Fry Richardson was researching the correlation between shared border length and the probability of war among two adjacent countries. Therefore, he wanted to know the length of the border shared between the countries of Portugal and Spain. When he looked up the official length, he noted something strange.

#### Numbers That Should Be Prime

Matthew Oldridge

May 29, 2018

Prime numbers are in some mathematics curricula, but usually they just appear in the context of prime factoring. Wondering if a number is prime is one of the most interesting things we can do with numbers, and our students can do it as soon as they learn about odds, evens, skipcounting, and a little bit about multiplication.

#### Studying Music Makes Your Brain More Efficient, Study Reveals

Maddy Shaw Roberts

May 23, 2018

The study, published in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, found that people with a musical and bilingual background activated different parts of their brain and showed less brain activity while carrying out a task than people who hadn’t had formal music training.

#### There’s a Mathematical Formula for Choosing the Fastest Queue

Enrico Scalas and Nicos Georgiou

May 7, 2017

The intuitive strategy seems to be to join the shortest queue. After all, a short queue could indicate it has an efficient server, and a long queue could imply it has an inexperienced server or customers who need a lot of time. But generally this isn’t true.

#### Is There a Link Between Music and Math?

Nadine Gaab and Jennifer Zuk

May 1, 2017

Learning to play a musical instrument relies on understanding concepts, such as fractions and ratios, that are important for mathematical achievement. But the precise relation between music and math—whether musical training promotes mathematical ability, or mathematical skill influences musical ability, or whether these skills simply develop in parallel—remains unclear....

#### 'Granny Style' is Best Way to Take a Basketball Free Throw, Study Shows

Hannah Devlin

April 25, 2017

It might invite ridicule, but it gets results. A scientific analysis has concluded that using a “granny style” underarm technique is the optimal way to take a free throw in basketball. Adopting the unorthodox strategy could result in marginal gains for professional players, the research suggests. And, as sporting doctrine goes, marginal gains can lead to remarkable results.

#### Mathematics Explains How Lizards Get Their Patterns

Elena Motivans

April 17, 2017

Researchers at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics looked at how the ocellated lizard’s scales form their intricate patterns. The researchers took photos of the backs of three male lizards, from when they were 2 weeks old up to when they were 3 or 4 years old. Using the images, the researchers tracked the fate of approximately 5,000 hexagonal scales on their backs.

#### Momentum Isn't Magic – Vindicating the Hot Hand with the Mathematics of Streaks

Joshua Miller and Adam Sanjurjo

March 27, 2017

The hot hand makes intuitive sense. For instance, you can probably recall a situation, in sports or otherwise, in which you felt like you had momentum on your side – your body was in sync, your mind was focused and you were in a confident mood. In these moments of flow success feels inevitable, and effortless.

#### School Bus Routes are Expensive and Hard to Plan. We Calculated a Better Way

Ali Haghani

and Ali Shahafi

March 24, 2017

Over the past year, we have been working with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in Maryland to analyze its transportation system and recommend ways to improve it. We have developed a way to optimize school bus routes, thanks to new mathematical models.

#### The Traveling Salesman Problem Has Been Unsolved for Nearly 200 Years

Ashley Hamer

March 8, 2017

Throughout the years, great minds have come up with novel ways to solve the problem. In the early days of computer science, people figured out solutions to scenarios involving a specific number of cities, but a way to solve every traveling salesman problem with a single algorithm (that is, a single list of rules a computer can follow to find the solution) remains elusive.

#### How to Escape a Maze – According to Maths

Ruth Dalton and Nick Dalton

January 26, 2017

There are techniques for escaping from mazes, but first you need to be sure what kind of maze it is. Most methods work for "simple" mazes, that is, ones with no sneaky short-cuts via bridges or "passage loops" – circular paths that lead back to where they started.

#### Can You Solve These Brain Teasers Written by the NSA’s Top Mathematicians?

Yoni Heisler

August 22, 2016

The NSA likely houses the largest group of world-class cryptographers and mathematicians than any other place in the world. Suffice it to say, if you’re mathematically inclined and want to make it at the NSA, you don’t just need to be good at math, you need to uniquely excel at it.

#### Here’s What Maths Can Teach Us About How to Design the Perfect Car Park

David Percy

July 26, 2016

There can be few things as frustrating as being stuck in a car park for four hours on a scorching Sunday afternoon; yet this was the unhappy fate of shoppers at a new multi-storey grid car park at an IKEA store in Reading, UK.

#### Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians

Erica Klarreich

May 31, 2016

n a series of papers posted online in recent weeks, mathematicians have solved a problem about the pattern-matching card game Set that predates the game itself. The solution, whose simplicity has stunned mathematicians, is already leading to advances in other combinatorics problems.

#### Graduate Student Finds Link Between Morning Math Classes and Increased Performance

Rena Slavin

April 28, 2016

The data showed that students who took math in the first two periods of their six-period day performed significantly better than those who took it in the last two periods. The former group’s average math GPA was 2.02, while the latter’s was 1.91.

#### Want to see a great U.S. city in one day? Two math majors show you how

Andrea Sachs

April 25, 2016

A pair of George Mason University students have two-squared words for you: America in a Day. Math majors Laura Maldonado, a junior, and Kathleen McLean, a senior, devised math models to help them plot day trips to cities across the country....

#### Widening Highways Never Fixes Traffic. but Darnit, It Did in Texas

Aarian Marshall

April 25, 2016

In a true fairy tale of a transportation project, Texas spent a measly $4.25 million widening a highway and, in defiance of conventional wisdom among transportation planners, doubled the speed of rush hour traffic on a notoriously congested highway in Dallas....

#### 16-year-old invents new math theory — and doesn't even earn an 'A'

Benyamin Cohen

April 12, 2016

Like most discoveries, the eureka moment happened by accident. Tamar turned in her math homework and the teacher said the theory she used to solve the problem didn't actually exist. "He said if I could prove it, it could be my theory. So that's what happened," Barabi told From The Grapevine.

#### The IRS's Favorite Mathematical Law

Kara Kovalchik

April 14, 2015

When it comes to catching tax cheats, the IRS has more than just federal law on its side. The agency’s arsenal also includes a mathematical truth known as Benford’s law. Armed with this law, the IRS can sniff out falsified returns just by looking at the first digit of numbers on taxpayers’ forms....

#### What's Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse

Adam Mann

June 17, 2014

I grew up in Los Angeles, the city by the freeway by the sea. And if there’s one thing I’ve known ever since I could sit up in my car seat, it’s that you should expect to run into traffic at any point of the day. Yes, commute hours are the worst, but I’ve run into dead-stop bumper-to-bumper cars on the 405 at 2 a.m....

#### Looking For Real-World Math Problems? Try Google Earth!

Katrina Schwartz

September 6, 2013

Thomas Petra has taught math at every level for more than 20 years and encountered dubious students at every grade level. That’s why he developed Real World Math, a free website with lessons based on Google Earth aimed at grades 5 - 10. “I was trying to show them actual applications of the math ideas that they see in the textbook,” Petra said.

#### Stuck in Traffic? Maths Can Get You On Your Way

Tim Garoni

June 17, 2013

Mathematics may not be the first thing your mind turns to when you are caught in a traffic jam. Yet mathematics holds the key to understanding how traffic congestion develops, and how to prevent it. Perhaps one of the best known (and most surprising) mathematical results concerning how traffic flows around a network is Braess's paradox.