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Posts

July 31, 2015

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4:00 PM | Plague or anthrax on the subway? Think again, says now-corrected study
Authors of a widely covered study that documented traces of plague and anthrax on surfaces across New York City have revised the paper after public health officials challenged their interpretations of the data. It’s hard to overestimate the attention these findings received when first published. “Bubonic plague found in NYC subway,” wrote The Daily Beast. “Your […] The post Plague or anthrax on the subway? Think again, says now-corrected study appeared first on […]
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2:21 PM | Nutrition researcher Chandra loses libel case against CBC
The self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” Ranjit Kumar Chandra, has lost a libel lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). The suit was in response to a 2006 three-part documentary from the CBC, which examined allegations of fraud against the former Memorial University researcher. After the 58-day trial, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice “ruled […] The post Nutrition researcher Chandra loses libel case against CBC appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:32 PM | Inquiry into duplications reveals “multiple” image problems in tumor study
A paper on how abnormal stem cells can cause benign bone tumors has been retracted by Cell Stem Cell after an inquiry into image duplications also uncovered “multiple instances of inappropriate western blot image adjustment.” The first two authors “declined” to sign the retraction, according to the notice. Besides confirming initial suspicions that images had been […] The post Inquiry into duplications reveals “multiple” image problems in tumor study […]

July 30, 2015

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6:00 PM | Golden rice paper pulled after judge rules for journal
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is retracting a paper that showed genetically engineered rice serves as an effective vitamin A supplement after a Massachusetts judge denied the first author’s motion for an injunction against the publisher. The journal announced plans to retract the paper last year following allegations that the paper contained ethical mis-steps, such […] The post Golden rice paper pulled after judge rules for journal appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:30 PM | NYT journalist: I am not a neutral observer–can I still be a fair reporter?
We present a guest post from Tracy Tullis, author of a recent story in the New York Times that — as we reported — the editors said afterwards they “would not have assigned” to her if they’d known about her “involvement in a cause related to news coverage.” This is her side of the story. […] The post NYT journalist: I am not a neutral observer–can I still be a fair reporter? appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:35 PM | Voinnet notches second retraction, two more corrections
Olivier Voinnet — a plant researcher who was recently suspended for two years from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) after investigations by ETH Zurich and CNRS found evidence of misconduct — has issued his second retraction and two more corrections. PNAS posted the retraction earlier this week for a 2006 article after an inspection of […] The post Voinnet notches second retraction, two more corrections appeared first on Retraction Watch.

July 29, 2015

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6:30 PM | Judge dismisses cardiac stem cell researchers’ lawsuit against Harvard
A Massachusetts judge has dismissed a lawsuit by researchers who argued that an investigation by Harvard cost them job offers. Last year, Piero Anversa, a stem cell researcher at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a colleague, Annarosa Leri, sued Harvard over an investigation into their work that they claim damaged their reputations: As a result of […] The post Judge dismisses cardiac stem cell researchers’ lawsuit against Harvard appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:30 PM | Author disputes retraction of pine needle paper published “without the knowledge” of all authors
The properties of pine needles in northwestern China differ — both inside and out — depending on where on the slope of a mountain they are situated. The properties of a recent paper on this phenomenon have recently changed from “published” to “retracted.” It appears that some of the authors didn’t realize it had been submitted to The […] The post Author disputes retraction of pine needle paper published “without the knowledge” of […]
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1:30 PM | Retracting duplicated paper “may damage the integrity of the literature,” says plant journal editor
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant has flagged a 2004 article that was “accidentally” duplicated from another paper published earlier that year — but did so in the form of a publisher’s erratum, not a retraction. The editor of the journal justified the decision by arguing that the duplicated paper had been cited “over a […] The post Retracting duplicated paper “may damage the integrity of the literature,” says plant journal […]
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1:42 AM | The User's Guide Project: Giving Experiential Context to Research Papers
We announce the User's Guide Project.
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1:42 AM | Inequality Proof
The format of two-column proof from high school geometry class is playfully used to present statements and reasons about wealth inequality.
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1:42 AM | The Topology of Absence
“The Topology of Absence” literalizes triangulations, hyperbeloids, and the concept of the limit in the story of “locating” a lost mother. This story, like “The Physicist’s Basement” in the July 2014 issue, is part of a series that worries about competing notions of mathematics, i.e., mathematics as some sort of disembodied configuration or as emergent in the material reality of human life.
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1:42 AM | Music and Mathematics
Mathematics has forever been.
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1:42 AM | Geometry of Life
Relationships in life can be expressed through geometric curves
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1:42 AM | Mathematical Double Dactyls
No summary available for this post.
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1:42 AM | The Extraneous Solution
No summary available for this post.
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1:42 AM | Zero
This poem attempts to describe the sensations we might have reading the numeral "0" if we compare it to how we experience our own bodies.
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1:42 AM | Robin Chapman on (her) Mathematics Education
No summary available for this post.
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1:42 AM | Novelty Wins, “Straight Toward Objective” Loses! or Book Review: Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective, by Kenneth O. Stanley and Joel Lehman
Experiments in evolutionary artificial intelligence demonstrate that progress toward an important, difficult goal is not best achieved by attempting to go directly toward that goal, but rather, by rewarding novelty.
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1:42 AM | “Notation, Notation, Notation” or Book Review: Enlightening Symbols: A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers, by Joseph Mazur
This review describes Mazur's engaging popularization of an interesting and important topic, the history of mathematical symbols and notation. The reviewer only wishes that some of the history had been done better.
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1:42 AM | On Mathematicians' Eccentricity
Eccentricity, though not inevitable, happens. Lightheartedly classifying examples, the author traces it back to factors, like creativity and absorption, essential to mathematical success, and recommends an attitude of amused tolerance towards others as well as to ourselves.
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1:42 AM | Mathematical Writing: What Is It and How Do We Teach It?
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recommends that students be able to communicate mathematics, using correct and appropriate language, by eighth grade [8]. Mathematics teachers at all levels agree that they have the responsibility to teach their students content-specific writing, but many feel that they don’t have the tools to do this work. This article offers a foundation and methodologies for different writing assignments that can be used in mathematics classes.
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1:42 AM | A System of Equations: Mathematics Lessons in Classical Literature
The aim of this paper is to showcase a handful of mathematical challenges found in classical literature and to offer possible ways of integrating classical literature in mathematics lessons. We analyze works from a range of authors such as Jules Verne, Anton Chekhov, and others. We also propose ideas for further tasks. Most of the problems can be restated in terms of simple mathematical equations, and they can often be solved without a computer. Nevertheless, we use the computer program Mathcad […]
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1:42 AM | Reflections on Math Students’ Circles: Two Personal Stories from Colorado
Math Students’ Circles provide an opportunity for mathematicians to work in their communities to engage young students in mathematics as a human, aesthetic, and social endeavor. Sometimes referred to simply as Math Circles, these venues give mathematicians experience in introducing children to topics not typically seen in school curricula in an exciting, hands-on format. This article explores two Math Students’ Circles (MSCs) in the state of Colorado from the point of view of two pre-tenure […]
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1:42 AM | Mo’ Math Mo’ Fun!
A youth named Kartik encounters the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City.
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1:42 AM | G.H. Hardy: Mathematical Biologist
Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947), the magnificent analyst who “discovered” the enigmatic Ramanujan and penned A Mathematician’s Apology, is most widely known outside of mathematics for his work in genetics. How did Hardy, described by his colleague C.P. Snow as “the purest of the pure,” become one of the founders of modern genetics? We explore this question in light of Hardy's own ideas about pure and elegant mathematics.
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1:42 AM | Mathematics: What Has It To Do With Me?
Mathematics teachers must have encountered the following question raised by students: “What is the use of mathematics?” Although the value of mathematics is not to be determined solely by its applications, to the general public this is a more important and more convincing facet of the subject. Nevertheless, this also brings up the corresponding query: is this subject being properly used? Does mathematics play a role in moral education?
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1:42 AM | On Similarities and Differences Between Proving and Problem Solving
A link between proving and problem solving has been established in the literature [5, 21]. In this paper, I discuss similarities and differences between proving and problem solving using the Multidimensional Problem-Solving Framework created by Carlson and Bloom [2] with Livescribepen data from a previous study [13]. I focus on two participants’ proving processes: Dr. G, a topologist, and L, a mathematics graduate student. Many similarities between the framework and the proving processes of […]
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1:42 AM | Counting the Angels and Devils in Escher's Circle Limit IV
We derive the rational generating function that enumerates the angels and devils in M. C. Escher's Circle Limit IV according to their combinatorial distance from the six creatures whose feet meet at the center of the disk. This result shows that the base of the exponential rate of growth is 1.582... (the largest root of the polynomial 1 - z^2 - 2z^3 - z^4 + z^6).
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1:42 AM | Attitudes and Experiences in Liberal Arts Mathematics
For many university students, the last formal experience in a mathematics classroom is a single semester “general education” mathematics class. Traditionally, students in this type of class often hold negative attitudes towards mathematics. Here I study a sample of students from this population (49 students at a large, urban, comprehensive public university enrolled in a “math for liberal arts majors” course) to research whether a positive experience in a freshman-level general […]
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