CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2007 |
A century-old math puzzle so complicated that its handwritten solution would cover the island of Manhattan was finally cracked by an international research team that had been working on it for four years. The 18-member group of mathematicians and computer scientists was convened by the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto to map a theoretical object known as the "Lie group E8."
February 20, 2007 |
ONE of the greatest pleasures in encountering new novelists is to watch them find their own particular style. In her first novel, "The Mathematics of Love," Emma Darwin, a great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, tries out three distinct voices in the first-person narration. The one we hear least of is the one from 2006; the one from 1819 makes up the majority of the book.
November 30, 2006 |
After a century of study, scientists have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious 2,100-year-old device known as the Antikythera mechanism, showing it to be a complex and uncannily accurate astronomical computer. The bronze-and-iron mechanism, recovered in more than 80 highly corroded fragments from a sunken Roman ship in 1901, could predict the positions of the sun and planets, show the location of the moon and even forecast eclipses.
November 19, 2006 |
THERE may be a new weapon for helping guard the nation's airplanes against terrorism -- and this one doesn't come loaded with bullets or employ Space Age technology. It is mathematics. Or specifically, the mathematics involved in the field of operations research. Operations research is a little-known but valuable tool for such things as scheduling airline flight crews, planning National Football League seasons and even designing waiting lines at Walt Disney World.
October 5, 2006 |
A mental health counselor recited pi to 100,000 decimal places from memory, setting what he claims to be a new world record. In Kisarazu, Japan, Akira Haraguchi, 60, needed more than 16 hours to recite the number to 100,000 decimal places. Pi is a physical constant defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It is usually written out to a maximum of three decimal places, as 3.141. Theoretically, there is no limit to the number of decimal places to which it can be written.
September 19, 2006 |
A UCLA mathematician sometimes called the "Mozart of Math," a Stanford University aviation engineer using abstract mathematical principles to help prevent airborne collisions, a San Francisco entrepreneur developing affordable drugs for neglected diseases in Third World countries and a Palo Alto engineer helping the blind read are among the 25 winners of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius" grants. Each winner will receive $500,000 over five years to use as they see fit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2006 |
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today will announce a $1.3-million grant to Los Angeles schools to improve the teaching of algebra and other college-prep courses. The investment is modest compared to other Gates grants and even other school district initiatives, but marks a growing partnership between the nation's second-largest school system and perhaps the world's largest private philanthropic fund. The one-year grant will pay for teacher training and curriculum design.
September 1, 2006 |
On first glance, the exhibition at Machine Project looks like a standard recap of Minimalism. Three tidy white cubes rest on pedestals in the otherwise empty storefront gallery. But a closer look reveals something wondrous -- another brain-stretching, comprehension-defying, do-it-yourself exercise with many of the ingredients with which Echo Park's small, weekends-only gallery has been making a name for itself for the last couple of years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2006 |
Terence Tao, a UCLA professor who was a child prodigy in calculus and earned a doctorate when he was only 20, on Tuesday was awarded one of four Fields Medals -- an international prize considered the Nobel for mathematics. The Australian-born Tao, 31, was in Madrid to receive the honor, given out every four years at the International Congress of Mathematicians to candidates no older than 40.
August 20, 2006 |
It was starting to seem that the goal of the church outing was to ascend to the heavens. Mile after winding mile, a line of vans slowly advanced up the side of the rugged mountain. When the bumpy, rudimentary road dead-ended at a closed gate, a priest jumped out of the lead vehicle, unlocked it and waved the caravan through.