Topologist At some point, you learned to tell the difference between a triangle (a polygon with three sides), a rectangle (four sides…), and a circle (the set of points that are a certain distance from a particular point). Understanding the differences between those shapes may have been one of your first achievements in a field of mathematics called “geometry.” Topologist Emille Lawrence focuses on another field of math, one in which a triangle, a rectangle, and a circle are all considered the same shape: a closed, one-dimensional shape with one hole inside of it. Topologists define a shape by… Learn more
Internet Applications Developer The apps you use on your phone were first thought up by people who started with just a cool idea. Do you “tweet” on Twitter? Read on to find out how your tweets might (or might not) indicate that you’re part of an emerging revolution. But not all apps are available to everyone. Companies and other organizations use computers and applications (apps) to share information with their clients and employees. David Scheiner is an internet applications developer and architect in England. One thing he loves about his work is that “you’re interacting with code written by so… Learn more
What apps do you have on your phone? Where did they come from? Internet applications developers help people turn their ideas into virtual realities. Government, social media, corporate, entertainment, and other organizations collect and share information and accomplish their goals online and in other computerized formats. Internet Applications Developer David Scheiner uses his computer programming, people, and math skills to help companies “use technologies to further their goals.” Thanks to his efforts, they are able to collect and organize the information they need to deliver the apps we (their clients) rely on.
Behavioral Ecologist Jeanne Altmann and Math4Science Founder Justine Henning spoke with juniors and seniors at Harvest Collegiate High School, in Manhattan. These conversations took place on Monday, April 24th, as part of our M4S@School program and Harvest’s Career Day. M4S also provides Harvest with an extra pair of hands in two of their math classes, thanks to volunteer Tom Huser, who spends time at Harvest several days each week throughout the school year. A student artist explored the M4S profile of Photographer David Goldes online while a few of her peers asked Altmann what it was like to study baboons… Learn more
Our founder, Justine Henning, has written an essay for Vox.com: Science is why my cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence. Today I march for science. The essay connects her own cancer diagnosis with the work of scientists that we feature here at Math4Science, and why she believes in the importance of science. Here are the opening paragraphs: I’ve been thinking frequently this month about Henrietta, my paternal grandmother. I try to imagine what it felt like to be an American Jew in the mid-1940s, with news coming in about what happened to one’s counterparts in Europe. Henrietta and all but… Learn more
Applied Mathematician How can a triangle help mathematicians predict how likely a driver is to choose any one of three different paths to her destination? Which kind of triangle best models that situation? And what does this have to do with computers? Read on to find out. Applied Mathematician Fern Hunt uses probability to help us better understand how computers work, how information and disease spread, and patterns in certain kinds of bacteria. The mathematical tools she applies to her work include Markov chains, vertex covers, greedoids, and other complicated ways of analyzing information. Below, you will learn about one… Learn more
Math helped Applied Mathematician Erika Camacho adjust to a new school after her family moved to the United States. Can it also help people see better and limit the recruitment efforts of terrorist groups? Camacho creates mathematical models to show scientists how the human retina — the part of the eye that contains the cells known as rods and cones — functions. Her work helps doctors improve treatments for the now-incurable disease retinitis pigmentosa. The eyes of mammals contain photoreceptor cells which absorb light and turn it into electrical signals. Our brains turn those signals into images we can make… Learn more
Data scientists teach computers to make insights about the world—some that humans can make easily, like telling your best friend’s face apart from your mother’s, and some, like whether you’re likely to get sick or make a new friend, that humans might otherwise miss. Alex Paul (Sandy) Pentland and his colleagues have taught computers to recognize faces and to predict the outcomes of face-to-face interactions, from speed-dating to business negotiations, with remarkable accuracy.
Data Scientist Can the information our computers gather about us improve our lives? In the future, will machines track our social interactions at work and at play? Will they improve our ability to make friends, find love, and succeed professionally? “For the first time, we can precisely map the behavior of large numbers of people as they go about their normal lives,” says Data Scientist Alex (Sandy) Pentland in his book: Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World. Using a “sociometer,” built with “cell phones and electronic badges with integrated sensors,” (x) Pentland and his students created a way to… Learn more
Computer scientists design and use the hardware and software of the machines we call “computers.” These machines help people collect and analyze information. Applied Mathematician Bernard Chazelle, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, studies natural algorithms: the recipes behind the behavior of flocking birds, cells working together to make the human heart beat, and swarms of insects.