Monthly Archives: November 2011

Quotation for the week: Nightingale

A slight cheat, since this is a quotation about Florence Nightingale rather than by her. It’s worth including, though. Like her contemporary Mary Seacole, Nightingale was a complex and sometimes controversial character; what is less well known is that she … Continue reading

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Four fun fallacies

I came across the following while browsing a collection of maths “jokes”. I’m not sure how they got into the list, but they’re an excellent way to test how well you can spot the holes in an apparently plausible mathematical … Continue reading

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SIAM Student Seminars

Some abstracts are now available for the talks in the forthcoming SIAM Student Chapter meeting on Monday 28 November. The meeting will be held from 1500 in LT908 and includes refreshments. All postgraduates and senior undergraduates (3rd, 4th and 5th years) are … Continue reading

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Sources and citations

For those of you doing final-year projects, today’s comic on xkcd provides the best short explanation I’ve seen of why your supervisor makes so much fuss if you borrow “facts” from Wikipedia. (The second-best explanation I’ve seen was provided by … Continue reading

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Puzzles in mathematical economics (loosely speaking)

Actually, weighing coins… 1 [easy]. Suppose you have 100 bags of coins, each containing at least 363 coins. A genuine coin weighs 10 grams. One bag is full of counterfeit coins, which are a gram lighter.  If you have a … Continue reading

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Quotation for the week: Shakespeare

Although it’s not clear that Shakespeare himself had much experience of mathematics or mathematicians, at least one of his characters had strong feelings about them. Here’s Iago, a hard-bitten professional soldier, complaining that his commanding officer has promoted somebody else … Continue reading

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Maths at Strathclyde: some scenes from history

I’m grateful to Professor Stephen Wilson for circulating a history of the Department written in the mid-1970s by the former Head of Department, Professor Donald Pack. Not all of it is terribly interesting, but there are some fascinating details that … Continue reading

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