The article, which should be required reading for all advanced high school students, creates a tantalizing picture of how much easier certain fundamental concepts of trigonometry could be in an alternate universe where we use tau. For example, with pi-based thinking, if you want to designate a point one third of the way around the circle, you say it has gone two thirds pi radians. Three quarters around the same circle has gone one and a half pi radians. Everything is distorted by a confusing factor of two. By contrast, a third of a circle is a third of tau. Three quarters of a circle is three quarters tau. As a result of pi, Palais says, “the opportunity to impress students with a beautiful and natural simplification is turned into an absurd exercise in memorization and dogma.”

— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/article/let-s-use-tau-it-s-easier-than-pi/

# Month: June 2018

# MIT Study Names Olin College World Leader in Engineering Education

A new MIT study has named Olin College of Engineering, along with MIT, as the top leaders in engineering education globally.

Source: MIT Study Names Olin College World Leader in Engineering Education

“We consider ourselves to be a **national educational design laboratory** and this study encourages our faculty and students to continue to explore the frontiers of learning. We seek to serve as a proof-of-concept that change can happen in academia and as a catalyst to help others evolving their learning practices and culture.”

Among the pedagogical features shared by the current leaders in engineering education are **multiple opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning** throughout the curriculum, the application of **user-centered design principles** and partnerships with industry, all of which characterize the learning program at Olin. In addition, Olin was cited specifically for its “multidisciplinary student-centered education that **extends across and beyond traditional engineering disciplines** and is anchored in issues of **ethics and social responsibility**.”

# Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics | Quanta Magazine

An eminent mathematician reveals that his advances in the study of millennia-old mathematical questions owe to concepts derived from physics.

— Read on www.quantamagazine.org/secret-link-uncovered-between-pure-math-and-physics-20171201/

The rational numbers include the integers and any number that can be expressed as a ratio of two integers, such as 1, –4 and 99/100. Mathematicians are particularly interested in rational numbers that solve what are called “Diophantine equations” — polynomial equations with integer coefficients, like *x*2 + *y*2 = 1. These equations are named after Diophantus, who studied them in Alexandria in the third century A.D.