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Boys' impulsiveness may result in better math ability

TechAndComputer (July 27, 2012) — In a University of Missouri study, girls and boys started grade school with different approaches to solving arithmetic problems, with girls favoring a slow and accurate approach and boys a faster but more error prone approach. Girls' approach gave them an early advantage, but by the end of sixth grade boys had surpassed the girls. The MU study found that boys showed more preference for solving arithmetic problems by reciting an answer from memory, whereas girls were more likely to compute the answer by counting. Understanding these results may help teachers and parents guide students better.

"The observed difference in arithmetic accuracy between the sexes may arise from a the willingness...

Professor claims that operations management theory is the key to sports success

TechAndComputer (July 24, 2012) — THE victory of Bradley Wiggins and the expertly assembled Sky cycling team in the Tour de France could be a model for success in many arenas, according to a University of Huddersfield professor who is pioneering the use of operations management theory in the field of sport.

When his ideas are adopted, the results could be better-managed stadiums and competitions, providing a more rewarding experience for larger numbers of fans, cheering on teams...

Girls' mathematics performance more likely to suffer than boys' as a result of mathematics anxiety

TechAndComputer (July 9, 2012) — If a train is travelling a distance of 55 miles at 150mph, how long will it take to reach its destination? If the thought of having to answer this question makes you apprehensive, then you may have mathematics anxiety. A new study published July 9 in BioMed Central's open access journal Behavioral and Brain Functions reports that a number of school-age children suffer from mathematics anxiety and, although both genders' performance is likely to be...

Remapping gang turf: Math model used for mapping chimp territories applies

TechAndComputer (June 25, 2012) — A mathematical model that has been used for more than 80 years to determine the hunting range of animals in the wild holds promise for mapping the territories of street gangs, a UCLA-led team of social scientists reports in a new study.

"The way gangs break up their neighborhoods into unique territories is a lot like the way lions or honey bees break up space," said lead author P. Jeffrey Brantingham, a professor of anthropology at...

Scientists struggle with mathematical details, study by biologists finds

TechAndComputer (June 25, 2012) — Many people remember struggling with maths at school, but few of us would expect that professional scientists suffer from a similar problem in their daily work. A new study by biologists at the University of Bristol shows that scientists tend to overlook their colleagues' research if it is packed full of mathematical equations.

Scientists would like to believe that the popularity of new theories depends entirely on their scientific value, in...

Suburban students outpace rural and urban peers in math

TechAndComputer (June 19, 2012) — American students living in the suburbs are outpacing their urban and rural counterparts in mathematics achievement, with Asian and white students scoring the highest among all races and ethnicities, and students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds doing better overall, according to new research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

The research was conducted by Suzanne Graham, associate professor of education at UNH...

Knowledge of fractions and long division predicts long-term math success

TechAndComputer (June 15, 2012) — From factory workers to Wall Street bankers, a reasonable proficiency in math is a crucial requirement for most well-paying jobs in a modern economy. Yet, over the past 30 years, mathematics achievement of U.S. high school students has remained stagnant -- and significantly behind many other countries, including China, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands and Canada.

A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Robert Siegler has identified a...

Theory on metastasis goes beyond metaphor to mathematics

TechAndComputer (June 14, 2012) — A unifying theory on the causes of cancer metastases has been proposed by Alexander R.A. Anderson, Ph.D., chair of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, and Jacob Scott, M.D., a Moffitt Radiation Oncology Program resident that is studying for his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford Centre for Mathematical Biology.

Their commentary was published online in Nature Reviews Cancer on May 24, 2012.

"In patients with advanced...

Toddler spatial knowledge boosts understanding of numbers

TechAndComputer (June 13, 2012) — Children who are skilled in understanding how shapes fit together to make recognizable objects also have an advantage when it comes to learning the number line and solving math problems, research at the University of Chicago shows.

The work is further evidence of the value of providing young children with early opportunities in spatial learning, which contributes to their ability to mentally manipulate objects and understand spatial...