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Mathematics

WORLD
October 5, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2006 | Howard Blume, Times Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2006 | David Pagel, Special to The Times
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.
NEWS
August 20, 2006 | Kirsten Scharnberg, Chicago Tribune
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.
MAGAZINE
July 2, 2006 | Leonard Mlodinow, Leonard Mlodinow is the author of several books on physics and mathematics, including "Feynman's Rainbow," "Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace" and, with Stephen Hawking, "A Briefer History of Time."
The magic of Hollywood success--how can one account for it? Were the executives at Fox and Sony who gambled more than $300 million to create the hits "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "The Da Vinci Code" visionaries? Were their peers at Warner Bros. who green-lighted the flop "Poseidon," which cost $160 million to produce, just boneheads? The 2006 summer blockbuster season is upon us, one of the two times each year (the other is Christmas) when a film studio's hopes for black ink are decided by the gods of movie fortune--namely, you and me. Americans may not scurry with enthusiasm to vote for our presidents, but come summer, we do vote early and often for the films we love, to the tune of about $200 million each weekend.
NATIONAL
February 4, 2006 | James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writer
Since unveiling proposals for math and science education Tuesday night in his State of the Union address, President Bush has been on the road each day, talking about the role that a tech-savvy workforce can play in keeping the U.S. economically competitive. Presenting successful math and science students as the future of the nation, Bush said on Friday that it was time to drop an old notion: Science whizzes, he said, should not be looked on as "the nerd patrol."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2006 | Tanya Caldwell, Times Staff Writer
The nation's children aren't the best and brightest in the world when it comes to math, according to the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Even among industrialized countries, the United States ranked ninth out of 12.
OPINION
February 2, 2006
Re "A Formula for Failure in L.A. Schools," Jan. 30 Algebra is the language of mathematics, science and engineering -- but using it as a make-or-break gauge for high school graduation is ridiculous. The vast majority of people, mathematicians included, never use algebra in their daily lives. What is needed is a reasonable and practical substitute for algebra that demonstrates mathematical competence. It is far more important in today's society to master percentages than factoring.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A 16-year-old San Diego boy won the top individual award of $100,000 in the Siemens Westinghouse competition in New York on Monday for his innovative approach to an old math problem that could improve the design of airplane wings. Michael Viscardi came up with a new theorem to solve the Dirichlet Problem, formulated by mathematician Lejeune Dirichlet in the 19th century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2005 | Erika Hayasaki and Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writers
It was intended to be a rigorous lesson on the complexities of ratios and cross multiplication. But some of the students in teacher Yong Li She's sixth-grade math class had other ideas. One boy threw balls of paper. Another put a sticker on his forehead while the girls next to him giggled. "I got a D in this class," he shouted to a classmate. "That's better than you!" The Virgil Middle School teacher forged on. It was all just part of teaching math at the messy crossroads of middle school.
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