Risk Analysis and Romance Happily ever after for Courtney Milan’s math-major heroine Maria Camilla Lopez involves a master’s degree focused on risk analysis. Let’s explore real-world research in risk and management, from food bank strategies to the moons of Jupiter. Ursula Whitcher AMS | Mathematical Reviews, Ann Arbor, Michigan FebruaryRead More →

Am I really uninfected? COVID-19 and rapid testing What’s new is the appearance of a large number of rapid tests, for both professional and home use. They are relatively inexpensive, more convenient to administer, and capable of returning results quickly… Bill Casselman University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada I discussedRead More →

Pseudonyms in Mathematics Why would there be pseudonyms for the publication of research papers in mathematics? One possible motive might be… that a group of people collaborated on a piece of work and wanted to simplify the multiple authorship to a single name. Another reason appears to be playfulness orRead More →

Completing the Square The prehistory of the quadratic formula Completing the square is the essential ingredient in the generation of our handy quadratic formula. And for all the years before the formula existed, that was how quadratic equations were solved… Tony Phillips Stony Brook University Quadratic equations have been consideredRead More →

Pooling strategies for COVID-19 testing How could 10 tests yield accurate results for 100 patients? David Austin Grand Valley State University While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tragedy and disruption, it has also provided a unique opportunity for mathematics to play an important and visible role in addressing a pressingRead More →

Sensitivity, Specificity, and COVID-19 Testing As every doctor should know, medical tests are rarely 100% accurate. Interpreting them is a matter of probability. And probability, of course, is a matter of mathematics… Bill Casselman University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Well, make up your mind. Does he have it orRead More →

Transmitting Data with Polar Codes This then is the significance of Arikan’s polar codes: they provide encodings for an important class of channels that enable us to transmit information at the greatest possible rate and with an arbitrarily small error rate. … David Austin Grand Valley State University Introduction WirelessRead More →

Mathematics and the Family Tree of SARS-Cov-2 It’s a remarkable process and, if it weren’t so dangerous to humanity, would be deserving of admiration. … Bill Casselman University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Introduction There are two major ways in which mathematics has contributed to our understanding of the diseaseRead More →