North & South

Mathematics, a beautiful elsewhere

WHEN HIS SON Leo was small, my brother Geoff, like most parents, read him stories at night. Unlike most parents, he also lobbed his six-year-old maths problems, which Leo seemed to enjoy just as much. I once heard the two companionably solving sums together, after the light was out.

Geoff wanted Leo to know the simple pleasure of figuring stuff out, and to know that maths is not just sums, not just a language, but also a playground.

My brother does maths for a living. He teaches probability, statistics and applied mathematics at Oxford, which might sound dry. But in academia, stats is an access-all-areas lanyard. Being able to make sense of data for other researchers is a sought-after skill from science to the humanities.

“If I offer [other scientists] stats help, I get buried

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da North & South

North & South2 min letti
10 Reasons Why We Should Read Every Day
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, since keeping our brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. A well-written novel can transp
North & South5 min letti
International Books
When 15-year-old Vanessa decides she wants to go to Browick, a prestigious boarding school in Maine, she makes an impassioned presentation to her hard-working parents as to why she should attend. And when she wins a scholarship, they let her go. But
North & South1 min letti
Have You Seen This Plant?
Researchers at Massey University are exploring the potential for New Zealand to become perhaps the first country in the world to grow gin-suited junipers as a commercial crop. Genetic diversity is required for a viable population, so the Great New Ze