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Titan supercomputer debuts: Computer churns through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is home to Titan, the world’s most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second). That kind of computational capability—almost unimaginable—is on par with each of the world’s 7 billion people being able to carry out 3 million calculations per second. (Credit: Image courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

TechAndComputer (Oct. 29, 2012) — The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory has just launched a new era of scientific supercomputing with Titan, a system capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second -- or 20...

Higher-math skills entwined with lower-order magnitude sense

The dot test shows variation in people's ability to intuit number and area. (Credit: Image courtesy of Emory University)

TechAndComputer (Oct. 28, 2012) — The ability to learn complex, symbolic math is a uniquely human trait, but it is intricately connected to a primitive sense of magnitude that is shared by many animals, finds a study recently published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Our results clearly show that uniquely...

Formula unlocks secrets of cauliflower's geometry

Cauliflower. The laws that govern how intricate surface patterns, such as those found in the cauliflower, develop over time have been described, for the first time. (Credit: © Africa Studio / Fotolia)

TechAndComputer (Oct. 23, 2012) — The laws that govern how intricate surface patterns, such as those found in the cauliflower, develop over time have been described, for the first time, by a group of European researchers.

In a study published October 24...

Avoiding future stock market crashes: 'Diversification effect' that protects portfolio of shares disappears during general slump

New research reveals that the 'diversification effect' that protects a portfolio of shares through the vagaries of the stock market disappears when there is a general slump in the market. (Credit: © jamdesign / Fotolia)

TechAndComputer (Oct. 18, 2012) — A 72-year study of the Dow Jones could help avoid the kind of stock market crash that struck the world economy in 2008.

Professor Tobias Preis has led a study of the second oldest US market index and...

A little science goes a long way: Engaging kids improves math, language scores

TechAndComputer (Oct. 18, 2012) — A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts.

Samantha Gizerian, a clinical assistant professor in WSU's Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, saw improved test scores among fourth-grade students in South Los Angeles after students from the Charles R. Drew...

Nobel Prize in Economics 2012: Stable allocations -- from theory to pratice

TechAndComputer (Oct. 15, 2012) — The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2012 to Alvin E. Roth, of Harvard University and Harvard Business School, and Lloyd S. Shapley, of the University of California, Los Angeles, "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

This year's Prize concerns a central economic problem: how to match different agents as well as...

Olympic Games in Rio 2016: Mathematical formula can predict medal haul, including impact of home advantage

TechAndComputer (Sep. 19, 2012) — Team GB is only likely to clock up 46 medals in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, say researchers who used a mathematical formula three years ago to predict performance for London 2012, and came up with a medal haul of 63.

In the end, Team GB won 65 medals in London, so the prediction was only out by two.

The formula, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is based on all cities and countries that have hosted the Olympic...

Beliefs drive investors more than preferences

TechAndComputer (Aug. 28, 2012) — If experts thought they knew anything about individual investors, it was this: their emotions lead them to sell winning stocks too soon and hold on to losers too long.

But new research casts doubt on this widely held theory that individual investors' decisions are driven mainly by their feelings toward losses and gains. In an innovative study, researchers found evidence that individual investors' decisions are primarily motivated by their beliefs...

Mathematicians develop new method for describing extremely complicated shapes

TechAndComputer (July 30, 2012) — Mathematicians at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey "bridged" topology and fractals and made a discovery that could lead to a new way of describing extremely complicated shapes such as the configuration of the tiniest defects in a metal or even the froth of a breaking wave.

Topology is a powerful branch of mathematics that looks at qualitative geometric properties such as the number of holes a geometric shape contains, while fractals are...