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Computer Science - Mathematics - 08.12.2010
Geotagging reveals not only where you are, but also people you might know
Geotagging reveals not only where you are, but also people you might know
If you see Fred and Susie standing in the same line at the cafeteria just once, it probably doesn't mean anything. If they show up together in many different places, it starts to mean a lot. But how many times do you have to see them together before it becomes significant? Surprisingly few, say Cornell computer scientists.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 26.11.2010
How the stingray got its spots
Science Pete Wilton | 26 Nov 10 Patterns are everywhere in the animal kingdom but understanding the mechanisms that produce them is a real challenge. In this week's Physical Review E Thomas Woolley and Ruth Baker of Oxford University's Mathematical Institute report on mathematical simulations that may explain how stingrays generate their distinctive spots.

Physics - Mathematics - 16.11.2010
Linking geometric problems to physics could open door to new solutions
A Princeton scientist with an interdisciplinary bent has taken two well-known problems in mathematics and reformulated them as a physics question, offering new tools to solve challenges relevant to a host of subjects ranging from improving data compression to detecting gravitational waves. Salvatore Torquato , a professor of chemistry , has shown that two abstract puzzles in geometry - known as the "covering" and "quantizer" problems - can be recast as "ground state" problems in physics.

Mathematics - Architecture - 08.11.2010
New study finds common brain organization among disparate mammals
Matthias Kaschube , a lecturer in physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, has published in the Nov. 4 online edition of Science Express results of research into the factors determining development of the brain's neural circuits. He is available to discuss his research with interested members of the news media, and a copy of Kaschube's study is available upon request.

Mathematics - Life Sciences - 04.11.2010
Electric brain stimulation improves maths performance
Electric brain stimulation improves maths performance
Science 04 Nov 10 Applying electrical current to the brain can enhance people's mathematical abilities for up to six months, according to research by neuroscientists at Oxford University. The research, published this week in Current Biology , demonstrates for the first time that electrical stimulation can successfully enhance mathematical abilities.

Mathematics - 12.10.2010
Are patient surveys a reliable way to assess the performance of doctors and practices?
Are patient surveys a reliable way to assess the performance of doctors and practices?
To assess the performance of general practices, it is better to ask patients about their actual experiences of care rather than ask for satisfaction ratings, according to new research from the University of Bristol published on bmj.com today. The findings call into question the reliability of using surveys to evaluate practice performance.

Earth Sciences - Mathematics - 07.10.2010
Rare melt key to Ring of Fire?
Rare melt key to Ring of Fire?
Science 07 Oct 10 Oxford University scientists have discovered the explanation for why the world's explosive volcanoes are confined to bands only a few tens of kilometres wide, such as those along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire'. Most of the molten rock that comes out of these volcanoes is rich in water, but the Oxford team has shown that the volcanoes are aligned above narrow regions in the mantle where water-free melting can take place.

Mathematics - Physics - 27.09.2010
Fungal spores travel farther by surfing their own wind
Fungal spores travel farther by surfing their own wind
BERKELEY — Long before geese started flying in chevron formation or cyclists learned the value of drafting, fungi discovered an aerodynamic way to reduce drag on their spores so as to spread them as high and as far as possible. In a few tenths of a second, Sclerotinia expels hundreds of thousands of spores in a plume that can rise 10 cm, much higher than any single spore by itself.

Mathematics - Linguistics / Literature - 15.09.2010
Numbers, books & apps
Numbers, books & apps
Science Pete Wilton | 15 Sep 10 When he came to write his latest book Oxford University's Marcus du Sautoy decided he wanted to go beyond the printed page. For The Num8er My5teries he created a series of 'apps' that enable iPhone users to explore the ideas and games within the book and recently wrote for The Guardian on what apps can bring to books.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 14.09.2010
Researchers improve wireless location-detection systems
Researchers improve wireless location-detection systems
In a pair of papers appearing in October in the journal IEEE Transactions on Information Theory , MIT researchers present a new theory that establishes fundamental limits on the accuracy of wireless location detection. By demonstrating which aspects of wireless signals convey the most reliable location information, the work points the way toward better location-detection algorithms.

Mathematics - Computer Science - 10.09.2010
Neurons: Faster than thought and able to multiply
Scientists discover new properties of nerve cells through computing - and contemplation Freiburg, 10. Using computer simulations of brain-like networks, researchers from Germany and Japan have discovered why nerve cells transmit information through small electrical pulses. Not only allows this the brain to process information much faster than previously thought: single neurons are already able to multiply, opening the door to more complex forms of computing.

Mathematics - Psychology - 30.08.2010
The roots of gamblers' fallacies and other superstitions
The roots of gamblers’ fallacies and other superstitions
Research helps explain causes of seemingly irrational human decision-making MINNEAPOLIS - Gamblers who think they have a "hot hand," only to end up walking away with a loss, may nonetheless be making "rational" decisions, according to new research from University of Minnesota psychologists. The study finds that because humans are making decisions based on how we think the world works, if erroneous beliefs are held, it can result in behavior that looks distinctly irrational.

Mathematics - Economics - 25.08.2010
Maths explains rogue waves and stampedes
Maths explains rogue waves and stampedes
State-of-the-art optical fibre technology and a 27 year old mathematical theory have been used to demonstrate how extreme events occur - from financial disasters to rogue waves and stampedes - according to researchers from The Australian National University. An international team of researchers, including Professor Nail Akhmediev from the ANU Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, have observed the well-known mathematical prediction, 'Peregrine's Soliton', for the first time.

Psychology - Mathematics - 25.08.2010
Preschoolers use statistics to understand others
Preschoolers use statistics to understand others
Young children are natural psychologists, says Cornell cognitive psychologist Tamar Kushnir. By the time they're in preschool, they already understand a lot about other people's inner mental lives - their desires, preferences, beliefs and emotions. But how do they acquire this understanding? In part by using statistics, reports a new study led by Kushnir.

Mathematics - Psychology - 24.08.2010
Major Moral Decisions Use General-Purpose Brain Circuits to Manage Uncertainty
Major Moral Decisions Use General-Purpose Brain Circuits to Manage Uncertainty
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Bradt 617. Major Moral Decisions Use General-Purpose Brain Circuits to Manage Uncertainty Humans and other animals use this circuitry to make basic decisions about things like food, discounting the involvement of a specific 'moral sense' Cambridge, Mass. August 25, 2010 - Scientists at Harvard University have found that humans can make difficult moral decisions using the same brain circuits as those used in more mundane choices related to money and food.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 24.08.2010
Scientists Say Natural Selection Alone Can Explain Eusociality, Cooperative Social Structure in Many of Earth’s Dominant Species
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Bradt 617. Scientists Say Natural Selection Alone Can Explain Eusociality, Cooperative Social Structure in Many of Earth's Dominant Species Work addresses limitations of kin selection, a dominant theory since the 1960s Cambridge, Mass. August 25, 2010 - Scientists at Harvard University have sketched a new map of the "evolutionary labyrinth" species must traverse to reach eusociality, the rare but spectacularly successful social structure where individuals cooperate to raise offspring.

Mathematics - Physics - 21.08.2010
Peregrine's Solition observed at last
Peregrine’s Solition observed at last
An old mathematical solution proposed as a prototype of the infamous ocean rogue waves responsible for many maritime catastrophes has been observed in a continuous physical system for the first time. The Peregrine 'Solition', discovered over 25 years ago by the late Howell Peregrine (1938-2007), an internationally renowned Professor of Applied Mathematics formerly based at the University of Bristol, is a localised solution to a complex partial differential equation known as the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE).

Computer Science - Mathematics - 05.08.2010
Shape-shifting robots
Shape-shifting robots
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. By combining origami and electrical engineering, researchers at MIT and Harvard are working to develop the ultimate reconfigurable robot - one that can turn into absolutely anything. The researchers have developed algorithms that, given a three-dimensional shape, can determine how to reproduce it by folding a sheet of semi-rigid material with a distinctive pattern of flexible creases.

Law - Mathematics - 28.07.2010
Is DNA evidence enough An interview with David Kaye
Is DNA evidence enough An interview with David Kaye
By Michael Bezilla Research/Penn State David H. Kaye is Distinguished Professor of Law and Weiss Family Faculty Scholar in Penn State's Dickinson School of Law, and a member of the graduate faculty of the University's Forensic Science program. He is an internationally recognized legal expert on DNA and other forms of scientific evidence and the author of " The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence," released earlier this year by Harvard University Press.

Mathematics - 26.07.2010
“Professor Risk” versus the psychic octopus
Having devoted his career to using statistical analysis to make accurate predictions, Professor David Spiegelhalter will this week attempt to explain how Paul the "psychic" octopus appears to be beating him at his own game. Professor Spiegelhalter, who is Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, will be giving a free talk about his work organised by the discussion group, "Sceptics in the Pub".