Cooking with Mathematics

This post is not going to be very maths-heavy but will include some concepts from the area of graph theory which we will use in an unusual setting.

Today we’re going to get into the virtual kitchen and get our virtual taste buds a-buzzing….Well, actually we’re going to get our computers to do the hard work of finding out some tasty recipes and we’re going to use a few different techniques to do this. The workhorse is going to be the Mathematica programming language, but a lot of what we will do will be doable in any programming language, though perhaps it will be slightly more cumbersome than this.

The starting point of our culinary adventure will be a piece of text, taken from a website of flavour pairings here.

We see here that we have a piece of text which we can copy and paste into our Mathematica file.…

By | May 31st, 2015|English, Level: intermediate|6 Comments

A Mathematics Problem from the SBITC

The Standard Bank IT Challenge (SBITC) is an annual coding competition for undergraduate and honours students in South Africa. The contest consists of two rounds: a regional event named the “heats”, and the final. In the heats, teams of up to four students each compete against other teams from the same university, and the winning team from each of the nine top-performing universities is invited to the final round in Johannesburg. Each member of the winning team wins a prize, and the winning university receives a large cash prize, but students mostly┬áparticipate for the enjoyment that is to be obtained in solving the problems, and to test their skills against a set of problems that is designed to challenge the participants.

This year, the final problem from the heats (which took place on Saturday, 16 May) was fairly mathematical in nature; or more-so than the other problems at least. Essentially, the problem asks the following:

We consider generalised Fibonacci sequences T_n which satisfy the same recurrence relation T_{n + 2} = T_{n + 1} + T_n as the Fibonacci numbers, but with the first two terms T_1 and T_2 being arbitrary positive integers.…

By | May 29th, 2015|English, Level: intermediate, Uncategorized|0 Comments

UCT is hiring in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics

Please spread the following advertisement to anybody who may be interested in a standard academic position or teaching only position in the Maths and Applied Maths department at UCT:

Job Advertisement

How clear is this post?
By | May 8th, 2015|English, Job advert, News|0 Comments

Life without Mathematics is indescribable

Life without Mathematics is indescribable. When I was still young my parents used to play lotto hoping that out of the blue they can become rich but every time they fail, one day my dad saw the poster of the ‘seer’ claiming that he can give people the perfect combinations of numbers so that they can win. For one year my parents went to him and those combinations failed. We did not know anything about mathematics, but now mathematics has opened not only our eyes but minds….. ┬áThe idea of Permutations and combinations, we actually realized that mathematics is not only about passing and getting scores but it is about making life simple and easy for everyone. Because of Mathematics my parents now know the possibilities of arranging 6 numbers out of 1 to 49.

I am a student but already the little that I know has save my family’s expenses and equipped them with the idea of factorials, combinations and permutations.…

By | May 1st, 2015|Uncategorized|3 Comments