mathematician

it's hip to be square

please allow me to introduce you to everyone’s favorite Rubik’s cube of the sea, the Yellow Boxfish. they’re, uh.

 well. see for yourself.

a vision of geometric perfection and kissy lips

yeah.

despite looking like an ocean-borne Bethesda glitch, the Yellow Boxfish is a real animal with hopes and dreams just like yours.

well, maybe slightly more angular

found in warm water reefs worldwide, (say that five times fast) Yellow Boxfish start life tiny and bright yellow, eventually fading in color as they reach their adult length of about 18 inches. they live mostly off algea and the bitter tears of mathematicians. (just wait until they discover the Hypercube Boxfish)

your frustration sustains me!

we STILL don’t know how they work- being a literal cube seems to make them incredibly agile swimmers, but we’re not sure why. maybe the ocean is just really into right angles?

nature just loves rectangles I guess

also just in case they weren’t weird enough, they also have a bad habit of squirting a deadly poison everywhere whenever they get startled, like an excitable toxin grenade

PANIC! PANIC! RELEASE THE TOXINS

while it is an efficient way to murder the shit out of every other fish in the general vicinity, this toxin has zero effect on humans. unless you were to attempt to eat the Boxfish, so don’t do that.

you probably couldn’t anyway, this is what a Boxfish skeleton looks like

Yellow Boxfish are popular pets and are kept by many aquarists. your local fish store may have one right now, go say hello! but gently, lest you accidentally startle this weird dumb square toxic grenade of the sea.

Yesterday I went to dinner to catch up with my buddy from the math department, and he told me this story about how he ran the city marathon in 2 hours, 59 minutes. That’s an amazing time. He was 19th out of thousands. 

He was doing pretty well for the first half, but then his ankle started to hurt. He slowed down for a bit, but then this girl he passed before passed him, and he started overthinking whether or not it was awkward to pass the same person multiple times, and, like, what if they small-talked about it? He decided it was better to pass her and stay ahead, so he picked up the pace. A few miles later, he fell in with two dude-bros who started talking to him. Not pleased to find himself in the company of dude-bros, he pulled ahead once again. This continued for a while; every time he got closed to a group of other marathoners, his social anxiety kicked in and he ran faster because he felt nervous being near people. 

TL;DR A mathematician ran an record marathon to avoid making small-talk with randos. He introverted his way into qualifying for the Boston marathon. 

A stranger: hi nice to meet you

Me: pigeons are one of the oldest domesticated animals, the grey birds you see in cities are birds that we’ve domesticated and abandoned so they’re feral. Pigeons are wonderful companions both in pairs and as single pets and bond closely to their caretaker, their gentle demeanor, low noise, and easy care makes them an excellent choice for a pet bird. In fact, I am married to a pigeon, by that she I mean she is bonded to me. Pigeons mate for life! They’re so loyal. They’re actually very intelligent and comparable to crows or five year old humans! Pigeons are crazy good mathematicians and great at pattern recognition they’re able to-

A stranger: what the fuck

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were in a hotel for a convention.

Then, in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, a fire breaks out in the engineer’s wastebasket. The engineer rushes over to the bathroom, empties out the ice bucket, fills it with water and pours it into the trash can, dousing the fire. Satisfied that the problem was solved, the engineer goes back to sleep.

Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out in the physicist’s wastebasket. The physicist rushes to the bathroom, whips out his calculator, frantically does a few computations, pulls out a cup, fills it to a precisely measured level, and rushes back to the wastebasket, pouring the water onto the fire. As the last drop hits the flame, the fire goes out. Satisfied that the problem was solved, the physicist goes back to sleep.

Finally, a fire breaks out in the mathematician’s room. The mathematician rushes to the bathroom, sees the ice bucket, sees a cup, sees the water faucet. Satisfied that the problem could be solved, he goes back to sleep.

Sometimes I don’t think the people who constantly berate math understand how discouraging it is as a mathematician to constantly hear people mock your passion. Like any passionate person, I want to share my passion with others and tell them about the exciting thing I’m working on, but I can’t even open my mouth about math without someone ranting about how much “math sucks!”.

I’m trying to be passionate when all I hear is “Math is so boring!” “No one uses algebra!” “Screw math and anyone who enjoys it!” “As an artist, I naturally hate math!” (I’m an artist too, actually) 

Do people not realize how much it starts to wear on you? I’ve honestly considered dropping math so I wouldn’t have to deal with the stereotype that I’m uncreative and hate art and am practically the devil in the eyes of some people.

23 Things You Didn’t Know About Astrology

Z O D I A C G U I D E  / /  I G

1. You have more than one sign.

2. Your moon sign is the sign that speaks to your emotions.

3. Your rising, or ascendant, sign represents identity, the first impression you make on others, and your outer personality.

4. Your sun sign is what motivates you from the heart and deep within.

5. Generally speaking, the compatibility of signs with one another is influenced by the elements of nature: fire, earth, air, and water.

6. Born in between signs? You might be a cusp.

7. The degrees of a sign don’t mean what you think it does.

8. Signs don’t influence your physical appearance - but they can describe it.

9. Mercury retrograde can actually be good!

10. Mercury retrograde does not actually mean the planets move back.

11. Mercury is not the only planet to have retrograde periods.

12. No, mercury retrograde is not going to ruin your life.

13. During the Reagan Administration, there was a White House astrologist.

14. If you really want an accurate reading of your birth chart, you should know your birthplace and time of birth.

15. Catholic popes used to believe in astrology.

16. According to Marchesella, everyone has some degree of all 12 signs, all the planets, and all the 12 houses of the horoscope in operation.

17. Shakespeare is known to have created some of his characters around their astrological signs.

18. British Intelligence Agency MI5 hired astrologist Louis de Wohl during WWII as a mouthpiece for wartime propaganda.

19. In Japan, people treat blood types like horoscopes and believe that personality types are tied to blood type.

20. Gerolamo Cardano, an Italian mathematician whose research lead to the invention of the combination lock, was imprisoned in 1570 for casting the horoscope of Jesus Christ.

21. The most common astrological sign in the U.S. is Scorpio (9.6 percent of U.S. population), and the least common sign is Aquarius (6.3 percent).

22. Benjamin Franklin was an astrology enthusiast.

23. Some people believe there are 12 people on a jury because of the 12 astrological houses.

Hey everyone! So sorry that I haven’t been very active recently, been doing some really exciting work on my thesis, and been loaded up with assignments (and battling quite a bad patch mental health wise). Started this morning off with some astrophysics, and some caffeine. On another note, it’s my birthday tomorrow, and all I really want is a research grant … 😂

A biologist, a physicist, and a mathematician are hanging out in the neighborhood. 

They see two people enter an empty house, and an hour later, they see three people leave.

The biologist says “they must have multiplied." 

The physicist said "it must have been a rounding error.”

 The mathematician groans and says “if one more person enters the house, then it will be empty”

bbc.co.uk
Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to win maths' Fields Medal, dies
Acclaimed Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani dies of breast cancer aged 40.

The 40-year-old Iranian, a professor at Stanford University, had breast cancer which had spread to her bones.

Nicknamed the “Nobel Prize for Mathematics”, the Fields Medal is only awarded every four years to between two and four mathematicians under 40.

It was given to Prof Mirzakhani in 2014 for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Prof Mirzakhani’s death caused “great sorrow,” state media reported.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said her death was a cause for grief for all Iranians.

“A light was turned off today. It breaks my heart… gone far too soon,” US-Iranian scientist Firouz Naderi posted on Instagram.

He added in a subsequent post: “A genius? Yes. But also a daughter, a mother and a wife.”

Prof Mirzakhani and her husband, Czech scientist Jan Vondrak, had one daughter.

Some social media users criticised Iranian officials for not using recent images of Prof Mirzakhani which showed her uncovered hair. Iranian women must cover their hair in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law on modesty.

Iranian official media and politicians used older pictures in their social media tributes, which show her hair covered.

Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne described Prof Mirzakhani as “a brilliant mathematical theorist and also a humble person who accepted honours only with the hope that it might encourage others to follow her path”.

“Maryam is gone far too soon but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science,” he said.

“Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world.”

Born in 1977, Prof Mirzakhani was brought up in post-revolutionary Iran and won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad as a teenager.

She earned a PhD at Harvard University in 2004, and later worked at Princeton before securing a professorship at Stanford in 2008.

Her receipt of the Fields Medal three years ago ended a long wait for women in the mathematics community for the prize, first established in 1936.

Prof Mirzakhani was also the first Iranian to receive it.

The citation said she had made “striking and highly original contributions to geometry and dynamical systems” and that her most recent work constituted “a major advance”.

Prof Dame Frances Kirwan, a member of the medal selection committee from the University of Oxford, said at the time: “I hope that this award will inspire lots more girls and young women, in this country and around the world, to believe in their own abilities and aim to be the Fields Medallists of the future.”