anottershambles
newsweek:

Since its inception in 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded to 52 of the most exceptional mathematicians in the world under the age of 40. For the first time, that award has gone to a woman: Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, an Iranian-born mathematician who works at Stanford.
She shared the prize — the highest honor in mathematics — with Martin Hairer, 38, of the University of Warwick, England; Manjul Bhargava, 40, of Princeton; and Arthur Avila, 35, of the National Center for Scientific Research, France.
According to The New York Times, 70% of doctoral degrees in math are awarded to males, making the award to Mirzakhani especially noteworthy. In the related field of physics, only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize. Only one has won in economics.
The Fields was presented by the International Congress of Mathematicians to this year’s four winners in a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday.
Mirzakhani’s research focuses on “understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects,” according to a Stanford release. A text provided by the ICM further explains that she works on so-called Riemann surfaces and their deformations. The ICM praised her for “strong geometric intuition.”
A Huge First For Women: Female Mathematician Wins Fields Medal

newsweek:

Since its inception in 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded to 52 of the most exceptional mathematicians in the world under the age of 40. For the first time, that award has gone to a woman: Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, an Iranian-born mathematician who works at Stanford.

She shared the prize — the highest honor in mathematics — with Martin Hairer, 38, of the University of Warwick, England; Manjul Bhargava, 40, of Princeton; and Arthur Avila, 35, of the National Center for Scientific Research, France.

According to The New York Times, 70% of doctoral degrees in math are awarded to males, making the award to Mirzakhani especially noteworthy. In the related field of physics, only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize. Only one has won in economics.

The Fields was presented by the International Congress of Mathematicians to this year’s four winners in a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday.

Mirzakhani’s research focuses on “understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects,” according to a Stanford release. A text provided by the ICM further explains that she works on so-called Riemann surfaces and their deformations. The ICM praised her for “strong geometric intuition.”

A Huge First For Women: Female Mathematician Wins Fields Medal

science-of-noise
jonomancer:

Brahmagupta, Indian mathematician (598 - 670), known as the “inventor of zero”. Picture from findinsideindia.com.
Brahmagupta was head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, a holy city in the Malwa region of central India. (Ujjain has been a center of learning since ancient times, and is known in Hindu tradition as the place where Krishna went to receive his education. The observatory of Ujjain was considered the prime meridian, as Greenwich England is today, making it the baseline for all astronomical observations.)From his observations he deduced that the moon is closer to the earth than the sun is, and that the earth and heavenly bodies are all spheres. His calculation of the length of the solar year is accurate to within about half an hour! But Brahmagupta is best known for his mathematical writings, and especially for developing the concept of zero as a number.In his great work Brahmasphutasiddhanta (“The Opening of the Universe”), Brahmagupta wrote:    When zero is added to a number or subtracted from a number, the number remains unchanged; and a number multiplied by zero becomes zero. Previous schoars had used various symbols as placeholders to show the lack of a number or digit. Brahmagupta was the first to treat zero as a number in its own right, something that could be used in calculations along with other numbers. In doing so, he extended the rules of arithmetic from the natural numbers to what we now call the integers, including zero and negative numbers. Here’s more rules from the Brahmasphutasiddhanta:    A debt minus zero is a debt.    A fortune minus zero is a fortune.    Zero minus zero is a zero.    A debt subtracted from zero is a fortune.    A fortune subtracted from zero is a debt.    The product of zero multiplied by a debt or fortune is zero.    The product of zero multipliedby zero is zero.    The product or quotient of two fortunes is one fortune.    The product or quotient of two debts is one fortune.    The product or quotient of a debt and a fortune is a debt.    The product or quotient of a fortune and a debt is a debt.(“Fortune” and “Debt” were Brahmagupta’s quite descriptive terms for what we’d now call positive and negative numbers.)This is one of those ideas that’s so simple that, from our vantage point centuries later, it’s hard to imagine anyone not understanding it, but people had been struggling along without zero for centuries. It must have taken a stroke of genius to realize that “nothing” is something!But he didn’t stop with negative numbers! The Brahmasphutasiddhanta also contains methods for:- Finding square roots, using an algorithm that Newton would rediscover centuries later!- Solving quadratic equations!- Trigonometry, including tables of sines and cosines!- Summing series of squares and cubes- Finding the area of cyclic quadrilateralsHis work holds up extremely well today. His approximation of Pi was correct to within a few hundredths. About the only place where modern mathematicians would disagree with Brahmagupta is his statement that 0 divided by 0 is 0, where today we leave division by zero undefined.Sources:http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Brahmagupta.htmlhttp://www.famous-mathematicians.com/brahmagupta/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmagupta

jonomancer:

Brahmagupta, Indian mathematician (598 - 670), known as the “inventor of zero”. Picture from findinsideindia.com.

Brahmagupta was head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, a holy city in the Malwa region of central India. (Ujjain has been a center of learning since ancient times, and is known in Hindu tradition as the place where Krishna went to receive his education. The observatory of Ujjain was considered the prime meridian, as Greenwich England is today, making it the baseline for all astronomical observations.)

From his observations he deduced that the moon is closer to the earth than the sun is, and that the earth and heavenly bodies are all spheres. His calculation of the length of the solar year is accurate to within about half an hour! But Brahmagupta is best known for his mathematical writings, and especially for developing the concept of zero as a number.

In his great work Brahmasphutasiddhanta (“The Opening of the Universe”), Brahmagupta wrote:

    When zero is added to a number or subtracted from a number, the number remains unchanged; and a number multiplied by zero becomes zero.

Previous schoars had used various symbols as placeholders to show the lack of a number or digit. Brahmagupta was the first to treat zero as a number in its own right, something that could be used in calculations along with other numbers. In doing so, he extended the rules of arithmetic from the natural numbers to what we now call the integers, including zero and negative numbers. Here’s more rules from the Brahmasphutasiddhanta:

    A debt minus zero is a debt.
    A fortune minus zero is a fortune.
    Zero minus zero is a zero.
    A debt subtracted from zero is a fortune.
    A fortune subtracted from zero is a debt.
    The product of zero multiplied by a debt or fortune is zero.
    The product of zero multipliedby zero is zero.
    The product or quotient of two fortunes is one fortune.
    The product or quotient of two debts is one fortune.
    The product or quotient of a debt and a fortune is a debt.
    The product or quotient of a fortune and a debt is a debt.

(“Fortune” and “Debt” were Brahmagupta’s quite descriptive terms for what we’d now call positive and negative numbers.)

This is one of those ideas that’s so simple that, from our vantage point centuries later, it’s hard to imagine anyone not understanding it, but people had been struggling along without zero for centuries. It must have taken a stroke of genius to realize that “nothing” is something!

But he didn’t stop with negative numbers! The Brahmasphutasiddhanta also contains methods for:

- Finding square roots, using an algorithm that Newton would rediscover centuries later!
- Solving quadratic equations!
- Trigonometry, including tables of sines and cosines!
- Summing series of squares and cubes
- Finding the area of cyclic quadrilaterals

His work holds up extremely well today. His approximation of Pi was correct to within a few hundredths. About the only place where modern mathematicians would disagree with Brahmagupta is his statement that 0 divided by 0 is 0, where today we leave division by zero undefined.

Sources:
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Brahmagupta.html
http://www.famous-mathematicians.com/brahmagupta/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmagupta

curiosamathematica
curiosamathematica:

A quine is a self-replicating computer program, which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output. It was Douglas Hofstadter who coined the name “quine”, in his magnificent book Gödel, Escher, Bach, to honor philosopher Willard Quine.
For example, the following is a concise Python quine:
s = ‘s = %r\nprint(s%%s)’print(s%s)
The concept has been extended to multiple levels of recursion. An Ouroboros program is a program in language X which compiles to a source code program in language Y which compiles to a source code program in language Z which compiles to … back again to a source code program in language X.
Yusuke Endoh managed to create an Ouroboros which cycles through 50 languages!! His Ruby program generates a Scala program that generates a Scheme program that generates … (through 50 languages) … a REXX program that generates the original Ruby code again:

The Ruby source code is presented above. The program can be downloaded on GitHub with some information on how to install and run the code.

curiosamathematica:

A quine is a self-replicating computer program, which takes no input and produces a copy of its own source code as its only output. It was Douglas Hofstadter who coined the name “quine”, in his magnificent book Gödel, Escher, Bach, to honor philosopher Willard Quine.

For example, the following is a concise Python quine:

s = ‘s = %r\nprint(s%%s)’
print(s%s)

The concept has been extended to multiple levels of recursion. An Ouroboros program is a program in language X which compiles to a source code program in language Y which compiles to a source code program in language Z which compiles to … back again to a source code program in language X.

Yusuke Endoh managed to create an Ouroboros which cycles through 50 languages!! His Ruby program generates a Scala program that generates a Scheme program that generates … (through 50 languages) … a REXX program that generates the original Ruby code again:

The Ruby source code is presented above. The program can be downloaded on GitHub with some information on how to install and run the code.

dorkery

stuffmomnevertoldyou:

15 Trailblazing Women and How They Made the Internet

Another day in the world, another diversity report from a tech company that is overwhelmingly not diverse. In fact, women only make up 12% of computer science graduates in 2012, a massive decline from 37% in 1985. Reasons for this trend abound, but I think a small part of it is the historical erasure and downplaying of outstanding women in the field.

(Autostraddle)

worktomorrow

usvsth3m:

Let’s meet the towering figures of computing, without whom we wouldn’t actually be able to do ANYTHING

1. Grace Hopper image

This incredible woman wrote the first compiler. Hang on, the what?

VERY, VERY simply… it’s the bit of code that allows people to create programming languages. Before…

lochlannach

The brachistochrone
This animation is about one of the most significant problems in the history of mathematics: the brachistochrone challenge.
If a ball is to roll down a ramp which connects two points, what must be the shape of the ramp’s curve be, such that the descent time is a minimum?
Intuition says that it should be a straight line. That would minimize the distance, but the minimum time happens when the ramp curve is the one shown: a cycloid.
Johann Bernoulli posed the problem to the mathematicians of Europe in 1696, and ultimately, several found the solution. However, a new branch of mathematics, calculus of variations, had to be invented to deal with such problems. Today, calculus of variations is vital in quantum mechanics and other fields.

The brachistochrone

This animation is about one of the most significant problems in the history of mathematics: the brachistochrone challenge.

If a ball is to roll down a ramp which connects two points, what must be the shape of the ramp’s curve be, such that the descent time is a minimum?

Intuition says that it should be a straight line. That would minimize the distance, but the minimum time happens when the ramp curve is the one shown: a cycloid.

Johann Bernoulli posed the problem to the mathematicians of Europe in 1696, and ultimately, several found the solution. However, a new branch of mathematics, calculus of variations, had to be invented to deal with such problems. Today, calculus of variations is vital in quantum mechanics and other fields.

science-of-noise
[…] the main trick of science is to really think of something: the shape of clouds and their occasional sharp bottom edges at the same altitude everywhere in the sky; the formation of the dewdrop on a leaf; the origin of a name or a word—Shakespeare, say, or “philanthropic”; the reason for human social customs—the incest taboo, for example; how it is that a lens in sunlight can make paper burn; how a “walking stick” got to look so much like a twig; why the Moon seems to follow us as we walk; what prevents us from digging a hole down to the center of the Earth; what the definition is of “down” on a spherical Earth; how it is possible for the body to convert yesterday’s lunch into today’s muscle and sinew; or how far is up—does the universe go on forever, or if it does not, is there any meaning to the question of what lies on the other side?
historical-nonfiction
historical-nonfiction:

This man helped create analytic philosophy and was one of the 1900s’ premier logicians, and you probably don’t know who he is. Meet Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist and social critic. He co-authored Principia Mathematica, an attempt to show all mathematics derive from a well-defined set of axioms. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” Both works influence a variety of fields today, including mathematics, linguistics, and logic. 

historical-nonfiction:

This man helped create analytic philosophy and was one of the 1900s’ premier logicians, and you probably don’t know who he is. Meet Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist and social critic. He co-authored Principia Mathematica, an attempt to show all mathematics derive from a well-defined set of axioms. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” Both works influence a variety of fields today, including mathematics, linguistics, and logic. 

science-of-noise
science-of-noise:

fuckyeahsouthasia:

ifartsparkswithkaty:

Value of Pi, written in Sanskrit by Arya Bhatta.
(X)

Aryabhata (Sanskrit: आर्यभट; IAST: Āryabhaṭa) or Aryabhata I (476–550 CE) was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His works include the Āryabhaṭīya (499 CE, when he was 23 years old) and the Arya-siddhanta.

Transliteration of Sanskrit (mostly for self-reference, but if y’all wanna know):
Caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṣṭistathā sahasrāṇām, ayutadvayaviṣkambhasyāsanno dṛttapariṇāḥ.

science-of-noise:

fuckyeahsouthasia:

ifartsparkswithkaty:

Value of Pi, written in Sanskrit by Arya Bhatta.

(X)

Aryabhata (Sanskritआर्यभटIASTĀryabhaṭa) or Aryabhata I (476–550 CE) was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His works include the Āryabhaṭīya (499 CE, when he was 23 years old) and the Arya-siddhanta.

Transliteration of Sanskrit (mostly for self-reference, but if y’all wanna know):

Caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṭistathā sahasrāṇām, ayutadvayaviṣkambhasyāsanno dṛttapariṇāḥ.

science-of-noise
we-are-star-stuff:

Alan Turing was born on 23 June, 1912, in London. His father was in the Indian Civil Service and Turing’s parents lived in India until his father’s retirement in 1926. Turing and his brother stayed with friends and relatives in England. Turing studied mathematics at Cambridge University, and subsequently taught there, working in the burgeoning world of quantum mechanics. It was at Cambridge that he developed the proof which states that automatic computation cannot solve all mathematical problems. This concept, also known as the Turing machine, is considered the basis for the modern theory of computation.
In 1936, Turing went to Princeton University in America, returning to England in 1938. He began to work secretly part-time for the British cryptanalytic department, the Government Code and Cypher School. On the outbreak of war he took up full-time work at its headquarters, Bletchley Park.
Here he played a vital role in deciphering the messages encrypted by the German Enigma machine, which provided vital intelligence for the Allies. He took the lead in a team that designed a machine known as a bombe that successfully decoded German messages. He became a well-known and rather eccentric figure at Bletchley.
After the war, Turing turned his thoughts to the development of a machine that would logically process information. He worked first for the National Physical Laboratory (1945-1948). His plans were dismissed by his colleagues and the lab lost out on being the first to design a digital computer. It is thought that Turing’s blueprint would have secured them the honour, as his machine was capable of computation speeds higher than the others. In 1949, he went to Manchester University where he directed the computing laboratory and developed a body of work that helped to form the basis for the field of artificial intelligence. In 1951 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1952, Turing was arrested and tried for homosexuality, then a criminal offence. To avoid prison, he accepted injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to neutralise his libido. In that era, homosexuals were considered a security risk as they were open to blackmail. Turing’s security clearance was withdrawn, meaning he could no longer work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park.
He committed suicide on 7 June, 1954. [x]

we-are-star-stuff:

Alan Turing was born on 23 June, 1912, in London. His father was in the Indian Civil Service and Turing’s parents lived in India until his father’s retirement in 1926. Turing and his brother stayed with friends and relatives in England. Turing studied mathematics at Cambridge University, and subsequently taught there, working in the burgeoning world of quantum mechanics. It was at Cambridge that he developed the proof which states that automatic computation cannot solve all mathematical problems. This concept, also known as the Turing machine, is considered the basis for the modern theory of computation.

In 1936, Turing went to Princeton University in America, returning to England in 1938. He began to work secretly part-time for the British cryptanalytic department, the Government Code and Cypher School. On the outbreak of war he took up full-time work at its headquarters, Bletchley Park.

Here he played a vital role in deciphering the messages encrypted by the German Enigma machine, which provided vital intelligence for the Allies. He took the lead in a team that designed a machine known as a bombe that successfully decoded German messages. He became a well-known and rather eccentric figure at Bletchley.

After the war, Turing turned his thoughts to the development of a machine that would logically process information. He worked first for the National Physical Laboratory (1945-1948). His plans were dismissed by his colleagues and the lab lost out on being the first to design a digital computer. It is thought that Turing’s blueprint would have secured them the honour, as his machine was capable of computation speeds higher than the others. In 1949, he went to Manchester University where he directed the computing laboratory and developed a body of work that helped to form the basis for the field of artificial intelligence. In 1951 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1952, Turing was arrested and tried for homosexuality, then a criminal offence. To avoid prison, he accepted injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to neutralise his libido. In that era, homosexuals were considered a security risk as they were open to blackmail. Turing’s security clearance was withdrawn, meaning he could no longer work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park.

He committed suicide on 7 June, 1954. [x]

image

anottershambles
fireandwonder:

ladieslovescience:

femmerenaissance:

Vera Rubin (b. 1928)

When Vera Cooper Rubin told her high school physics teacher that she’d been accepted to Vassar, he said, “That’s great. As long as you stay away from science, it should be okay.”
Rubin graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948, the only astronomy major in her class at Vassar, and went on to receive her master’s from Cornell in 1950 (after being turned away by Princeton because they did not allow women in their astronomy program) and her Ph.D. from Georgetown in 1954. Now a senior researcher at the Carnegie Institute’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Rubin is credited with proving the existence of “dark matter,” or nonluminous mass, and forever altering our notions of the universe. She did so by gathering irrefutable evidence to persuade the astronomical community that galaxies spin at a faster speed than Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation allows. As a result of this finding, astronomers conceded that the universe must be filled with more material than they can see. 
Rubin made a name for herself not only as an astronomer but also as a woman pioneer; she fought through severe criticisms of her work to eventually be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (at the time, only three women astronomers were members) and to win the highest American award in science, the National Medal of Science. Her master’s thesis, presented to a 1950 meeting of the American Astronomical Society, met with severe criticism, and her doctoral thesis was essentially ignored, though her conclusions were later validated. “Fame is fleeting,” Rubin said when she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. “My numbers mean more to me than my name. If astronomers are still using my data years from now, that’s my greatest compliment.”


 Sources:
1. http://innovators.vassar.edu/innovator.html?id=68; http://science.vassar.edu/women/
2. http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/45424

A+ YES. Fabulous ladies getting it DONE.
LLS

do you realize how many scifi stories she is indirectly responsible for?  She discovered the inspiration for Dust in The Golden Compass.

fireandwonder:

ladieslovescience:

femmerenaissance:

Vera Rubin (b. 1928)


When Vera Cooper Rubin told her high school physics teacher that she’d been accepted to Vassar, he said, “That’s great. As long as you stay away from science, it should be okay.”

Rubin graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948, the only astronomy major in her class at Vassar, and went on to receive her master’s from Cornell in 1950 (after being turned away by Princeton because they did not allow women in their astronomy program) and her Ph.D. from Georgetown in 1954. Now a senior researcher at the Carnegie Institute’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Rubin is credited with proving the existence of “dark matter,” or nonluminous mass, and forever altering our notions of the universe. She did so by gathering irrefutable evidence to persuade the astronomical community that galaxies spin at a faster speed than Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation allows. As a result of this finding, astronomers conceded that the universe must be filled with more material than they can see. 

Rubin made a name for herself not only as an astronomer but also as a woman pioneer; she fought through severe criticisms of her work to eventually be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (at the time, only three women astronomers were members) and to win the highest American award in science, the National Medal of Science. Her master’s thesis, presented to a 1950 meeting of the American Astronomical Society, met with severe criticism, and her doctoral thesis was essentially ignored, though her conclusions were later validated. “Fame is fleeting,” Rubin said when she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. “My numbers mean more to me than my name. If astronomers are still using my data years from now, that’s my greatest compliment.”

 Sources:

1. http://innovators.vassar.edu/innovator.html?id=68; http://science.vassar.edu/women/

2. http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/45424

A+ YES. Fabulous ladies getting it DONE.

LLS

do you realize how many scifi stories she is indirectly responsible for?  She discovered the inspiration for Dust in The Golden Compass.