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Mathematical Modeling

Boys' impulsiveness may result in better math ability

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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...

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

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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

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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...

Theory on metastasis goes beyond metaphor to mathematics

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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...

Finding good music in noisy online markets

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TechAndComputer (May 31, 2012) — In 2004, a trio of researchers at Columbia University began an online experiment in social-media marketing, creating nine versions of a music-download site that presented the same group of unknown songs in different ways. The goal of the experiment was to gauge the effect of early peer recommendations on the songs' success; the researchers found that different songs became hits on the different sites and that the variation was...