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How the tiger got its stripes: Proving Turing's tiger stripe theory

TechAndComputer (Feb. 19, 2012) — Researchers from King's College London have provided the first experimental evidence confirming a great British mathematician's theory of how biological patterns such as tiger stripes or leopard spots are formed.

The study, funded by the Medical Research Council and published online in Nature Genetics, not only demonstrates a mechanism which is likely to be widely relevant in vertebrate development, but also provides confidence that chemicals called morphogens, which control these patterns, can be used in regenerative medicine to differentiate stem cells into tissue.

The findings provide evidence to support a theory first suggested in the 1950s by famous code-breaker and mathematician...

Puzzle play improves math skills

TechAndComputer (Feb. 17, 2012) — An important context for figuring out problems through reasoning is puzzle play, say researchers at University of Chicago.

Psychologist Susan Levine and colleagues recently conducted a study that found 2-4 year-old children, who play with puzzles, have better spatial skills when assessed at 4 1/2 years of age.

After controlling for differences in parents' income, education and overall amount of parent language input, researchers say puzzle...

Puzzle play helps boost learning math-related skills

TechAndComputer (Feb. 16, 2012) — Children who play with puzzles between ages 2 and 4 later develop better spatial skills, a study by University of Chicago researchers has found. Puzzle play was found to be a significant predictor of spatial skill after controlling for differences in parents' income, education and the overall amount of parent language input.

In examining video recordings of parents interacting with children during everyday activities at home, researchers found...

Motherhood 'detrimental' to women's scientific careers, study concludes

TechAndComputer (Feb. 14, 2012) — Women with advanced degrees in math-intensive academic fields drop out of fast-track research careers primarily because they want children – not because their performance is devalued or they are shortchanged during interviewing and hiring, according to a new study at Cornell University.

“Motherhood – and the policies that make it incompatible with a tenure-track research career – take a toll on women that is detrimental to their...

Numeracy: The educational gift that keeps on giving?

TechAndComputer (Feb. 10, 2012) — Cancer risks. Investment alternatives. Calories. Numbers are everywhere in daily life, and they figure into all sorts of decisions. A new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines how people who are numerate -- that's like literacy, but for numbers -- understand numbers better and process information differently so that they ultimately make more informed...

An economic analysis of emerald ash borer management options

TechAndComputer (Feb. 9, 2012) — Lanham, MD; February 9, 2012 -- The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Fairmaire), an invasive insect from Asia which was first found in the U.S. in the 1990s, has since spread to 15 states and is responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees. This insect has the potentionl to kill billions more trees and to do several billions of dollars worth of damage.

In "Economic Analysis of Emerald Ash Borer Management Options," a recent study...

Storm warning: Financial tsunami heading this way

TechAndComputer (Feb. 9, 2012) — In today's global village, national coffers are more interconnected than ever before. And as the current economic crisis has proven, a downturn in one country can travel in a wave across the globe, like a financial tsunami. Now, researchers from Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with the Kiel Institute of World Economy in Germany, have developed a market "seismograph" -- a new methodology that measures the interconnections between stock markets across...

Barriers to the use of fingerprint evidence in court is unlocked by statistical model

TechAndComputer (Feb. 9, 2012) — Fingerprints that are potential key pieces of evidence in court currently are not being considered due to shortcomings in the way this evidence is reported, according to a report by a Penn State Assistant Professor of Forensic Science and Statistics Cedric Neumann, published recently in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association. Neumann has devised a statistical model to enable the weight of...

Fall of Communism changed mathematics in US

TechAndComputer (Feb. 7, 2012) — The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 brought an influx of Soviet mathematicians to U.S. institutions, and those scholars' differing areas of specialization have changed the way math is studied and taught in this country, according to new research by University of Notre Dame Economist Kirk Doran and George Borjas from Harvard University.

Titled "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," the study will...