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Professor Doing Math on Plane Reported as Possible Terrorist

The flight was delayed for an investigation

(Newser) - An Ivy League professor says his flight was delayed because a fellow passenger thought the equations he was writing might be a sign he was a terrorist, the AP reports. American Airlines confirms that a woman expressed suspicions about University of Pennsylvania economics professor Guido Menzio then said she was...

Author: Ditch Mandatory Algebra in Schools

Instead, teach kids basic math skills they'll use in the real world: Andrew Hacker

(Newser) - Something's not adding up, according to what the AP calls a "provocative new book" that pleads the case of getting rid of mandatory algebra in US schools. "One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school … one of the worst records in the...

Prof Solves 300-Year-Old Math Mystery, Wins $700K
 Prof Solves 300-Year-Old 
 Math Mystery, Wins $700K 

Prof Solves 300-Year-Old Math Mystery, Wins $700K

Oxford professor had been trying to crack Fermat's Last Theorem since he was a boy

(Newser) - An Oxford professor is now $700,000 richer for solving a 300-year-old math mystery, the Telegraph reports. In 1994, Andrew Wiles, 62, cracked Fermat's Last Theorem, which was put forth by 17th-century mathematician Pierre de Fermat. Wiles will be traveling to Oslo, Norway, in May to collect the 2016...

Here Are 3.14-Plus Fun Ways to Celebrate Pi Day

Including checking out old-time pie pics, learning how to cut the perfect slice

(Newser) - Time is a flat circle in which we do the same things over and over again—or, in the case of Pi Day, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, celebrated over and over again each year on March 14. Here's 2016's homage...

Geographic Profiling Backs Theory on Identity of Banksy

Robin Gunningham appears to be artist's real name

(Newser) - His name is Robin Gunningham. That's the finding of British scientists who think they've confirmed the identity of Banksy using geographic profiling, the BBC reports. In the study published in the Journal of Spatial Science (one that was temporarily delayed by the artist's lawyers because he apparently...

Behold the Biggest Prime Number Ever—All 22M Digits

It was discovered on a computer that went in for routine maintenance

(Newser) - The longest prime number ever found has been discovered by a computer in Missouri, and it's a doozy: 274,207,281–1 has 22,338,618 digits, the Guardian reports. The number also known as M74207281 was found by a computer tied to the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search...

Crowdsourcing Helps Prof Solve Old Math Problem

Terence Tao publishes a proof of the 83-year-old Erdos discrepancy problem

(Newser) - UCLA professor Terence Tao , one of the world's top mathematicians, has just solved a famous problem dating back to the 1930s—and he says it was a comment on his blog earlier this year that sent him in the right direction. He also built off earlier crowdsourced work to...

Dad's 'Common Core' Check to School Goes Viral

But some say he's doing more harm than good

(Newser) - Last week, a frustrated Ohio dad posted a picture on Facebook —and now it's been shared more than 27,000 times and he's semi-famous. Doug Herrmann posted a picture of a check he wrote to his kids' elementary school which, he said, used Common Core math. Instead...

STEM Shocker: Intel Drops Science Contest

Company has been supporter of prestigious high school competition since 1998

(Newser) - "Wanted: Respected corporation with deep pockets and deep roots in the STEM arena to take over prestigious science and math competition." That's basically the ad the Society for Science and the Public now has to place to replace Intel, which has announced it will no longer sponsor...

'Cheryl's Birthday' Math Problem Puzzles World

Question for Singapore students goes viral

(Newser) - Never mind the color of that dress : When is Cheryl's birthday? The latest viral puzzler to stump the Internet started out as a question for students in Singapore and spread around the world after it was posted here , reports the Washington Post . Students were asked to determine the birthday...

NFL Player Is an Accomplished Math Whiz

But Baltimore Raven John Urschel won't quit because he loves 'hitting people'

(Newser) - You can throw the "dumb jock" stereotype right out the window when it comes to John Urschel. The Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman has penned a paper titled "A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians" and published it in the Journal of Computational Mathematics,...

Bride Walks Out After Groom Gets Math Question Wrong
Bride Walks Out After Groom Gets Math Question Wrong

Bride Walks Out After Groom Gets Math Question Wrong

The question he blew: What's 15 plus 6?

(Newser) - Add this to the list of things to have pre-wedding jitters about: the possibility of an impromptu math quiz. The Times of India has the unusual story of a woman from India's Uttar Pradesh state who was supposed to marry on Wednesday. But Mohar Singh's daughter, Lovely, had...

Baby Chicks Show Smarts With Numbers
 Baby Chicks Show 
 Smarts With Numbers 
study says

Baby Chicks Show Smarts With Numbers

Study: Like humans, they put lower numbers at left, higher ones at right

(Newser) - Baby chicks seem to process numbers the same way humans do—with small ones starting on the left, according to a new study. The research out of Italy suggests that this "mental number line," considered fundamental to math, might be hard-wired into the brains of living creatures rather...

Parents Go to School to Grasp Kids' Math

Students learn math in a new way with Common Core

(Newser) - Think math was hard when you went to school? Then check out new Common Core standards in elementary and high schools, which are so different from "old school" methods that parents are attending school to learn how it works—alongside their children, the Washington Post reports. "The toughest...

World's Favorite Number Determined

It's 7, based on a survey of 30K people

(Newser) - It's important stuff as a child: one's favorite number. And that penchant for a special digit doesn't necessarily fade as adulthood sets in. As Dana Mackenzie writes for Nautilus , it was a question that Guardian math blogger Alex Bellos fielded so frequently that he decided to turn...

Why You Should Buy the Bigger Pizza

It makes sense from a math and money perspective

(Newser) - You could remember it this way: "A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius." Or in a much simpler way: Always buy the bigger pizza. So declares Quoctrung Bui at NPR's Planet Money blog, whose post on...

Think You're 'Bad at Math'? You're Just Being Lazy

Americans fall back on that tired phrase, instead of working harder: Allison Schraeger

(Newser) - Americans have a lousy mindset when it comes to math education, writes economist Allison Schraeger in Quartz . When a student starts doing poorly, we too often shrug it off, say some people just aren't cut out for math, and allow the kid to focus on something else. But you...

Americans Read and Math Bad
 Americans Read and Math Bad 

Americans Read and Math Bad

New study shows US adults are lagging in crucial skills

(Newser) - You've probably heard that test scores are lagging badly for America's youth, but it turns out they're just chips off the old blocks. A sweeping new study has found that American adults are below-average when it comes to literacy, basic math skills, and "problem-solving in technology-rich...

Bad at Math? Consider a Zap to the Brain

 Bad at Math? 
 Consider a 
 Zap to the Brain 
study says

Bad at Math? Consider a Zap to the Brain

Study finds that 'transcranial random noise stimulation' helps

(Newser) - Terrible at math? No worries, it's nothing that a little electrical stimulation can't help. Researchers from the UK and Austria found that transcranial random noise stimulation ( Popular Science describes it as "a painless zap to the brain") helped subjects to learn arithmetic more quickly—and...

Slavery Math Problems Outrage Parents

School asks students to tally slave deaths and whippings

(Newser) - Some New York City teachers have found themselves in hot water over a math assignment for fourth graders featuring questions like, "In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?" The...

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