IntMath Newsletter: 7 billion people, blog carnival, food

By Murray Bourne, 27 Oct 2011

27 Oct 2011

In this Newsletter:

1. 7 billion people next week
2. Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival #16
3. Singapore’s food vulnerability
4. Why Randomly-Selected Politicians Would Improve Democracy
5. Puzzles
6. Friday math movie: Symphony of Science
7. Final thought: Find your passion

1. 7 billion people next week

crowd scene

There will soon be 7 billion of us, competing for clean air, food and water. Check out my updated current world population (live).

7 billion people next week

2. Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival #16

Color blindness test

I recently hosted a carnival of math. You can read an interesting variety of posts by math bloggers from all over the world.

Mathematics and Multimedia Blog Carnival #16

3. Singapore’s food vulnerability

Food

I wrote this article on World Food Day, 16 Oct. Here’s how one country plans to improve its precarious food situation.

Singapore’s food vulnerability

4. Why Randomly-Selected Politicians Would Improve Democracy

random politicians

This is a fun article I found on the Physics Arxiv blog (which is part of MIT’s Technology Review).

It involves a mathematical analysis comparing whether good governance can be achieved more effectively by elected officials than by randomly selected people. The researchers found that in every case, adding random legislators improves the performance of parliament.

Read more of this (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) article:

Why Randomly-Selected Politicians Would Improve Democracy (external site)

5. Puzzles

There was only one reader (Sai Krishna Nadella) who got the correct answer to last Newsletter’s number puzzle. The answer is 2519.

New puzzle: Here is a coded message. Can you figure out what it says?

CGTAOYFUDOORUTNOIRIUNALISUGETT

6. Friday math movie: Symphony of Science

The Poetry of Reality (An Anthem for Science)

It’s a sad state of affairs when we need to write anthems for science. However, this is quite cleverly done – the words of eminent scientists set to music.

Friday math movie: Symphony of Science

7. Final thought: find your passion

The world mourned the loss of Steve Jobs recently. In 2005 he gave a commencement speech at Stanford University, in which he said:

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

My summary of his speech goes something like this:

Don’t chase grades. Find your passion and let it grow. When you learn in order to feed your passion, it doesn’t even feel like work.

Until next time, enjoy whatever you learn.

See the 1 Comment below.

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One Comment on “IntMath Newsletter: 7 billion people, blog carnival, food”

  1. Jegor says:

    Puzzle solution.

    Initial string is of length 30, matrices of following dimensions are possible (except vectors 1×30, 30×1): 2×15, 3×10, 5×6, 6×5, 10×3, 15×2

    One of combinations gives meaningful output:

    1. Assemble matrix
    C G T A O Y F U D O
    O R U T N O I R I U
    N A L I S U G E T T
    2. Transpose
    C O N
    G R A
    T U L
    A T I
    O N S
    Y O U
    F I G
    U R E
    D I T
    O U T
    3. Dissemble back to string
    CONGRATULATIONSYOUFIGUREDITOUT

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