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/
A new MIT study has named Olin College of Engineering, along with MIT, as the top leaders in engineering education globally.
“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.”
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 x2 + y2 = 1. These equations are named after Diophantus, who studied them in Alexandria in the third century A.D.