# Category Archives: Mathematics

## Can we use mathematics to prevent crime?

There is a theory in criminology that says that if a broken window in a building is left unrepaired, that building will soon have all its other windows broken. The rationale behind it is that signs of urban disorder […]

## Optimising production and stock management for blood platelet concentrates

Author:

Mikel Lezaun is professor at the University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU where he is director of the Mathematical Technology Transfer Group

Blood from donations is separated into three components: red cells, platelets and plasma, and one component […]

## The sound of chaos

What is chaos?

Chaos is a concept related to dynamical systems, that are nothing but systems than can be described by amounts that change in time. There are examples of dynamical systems everywhere: the amount of money in your bank […]

## Flip me to the moon

This post is dedicated to the memory of Professor Ferran Hurtado, inspirational friend and colleague.

Triangulations are extremely useful in computer graphics, with terrain modeling being an outstanding example: A mesh of points in 2D is triangulated and […]

## Triangulations are rigid. You can do better using pseudo-triangles

Triangles are, definitely, among the most used mathematical objects. One of the reasons is that they are simple (actually the smallest polygon). Another very important reason is that they are rigid, which is the property behind the many structures composed […]

## The math of sex and hunger. A short history of population dynamics

The field of population dynamics lies between mathematics and biology. Its subject of study is the evolution of biological populations with time. The natural language for dynamical problems is that of differential equations, and population dynamics is not an exception […]

## Helping Spider-Man to plan his moves efficiently

We all know how Spider-Man moves through the city, shooting spider-webs from wall to wall. But, have you ever wondered if he is actually using the shortest route? And, if so, how does he compute it? Since walls introduce […]

## How many mutually touching cylinders can be arranged in 3D?

An old problem, restated by Martin Gardner in 1959, asked if six cigarettes that can be placed so that each touches the other. Gardner was surprised by fifteen readers discovering that actually seven cigarettes can be arranged with that […]

## In how many ways can you fold a strip of stamps?

When was the last time you used a postage stamp? Even if it was a long time ago, you may have hold in your hands a strip of stamps. Maybe you have even tried to fold it into a stack, […]

## Game Theory explains professionals’ play

You play rock-paper-scissors against someone. What is the best strategy? Of course, it depends of what your opponent does. If he is someone who always plays “rock”, then you better play “paper”. But if your opponent is not that naïve […]