Portal:Mathematics
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Mathematics is the study of numbers, quantity, space, pattern, structure, and change. Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Used for calculation, it is considered the most important subject. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered. (Full article...)
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Fourteen ways of triangulating a hexagon Image credit: User:Dmharvey |
The Catalan numbers, named for the Belgian mathematician Eugène Charles Catalan, are a sequence of natural numbers that are important in combinatorial mathematics. The sequence begins:
The Catalan numbers are solutions to numerous counting problems which often have a recursive flavour. In fact, one author lists over 60 different possible interpretations of these numbers. For example, the n^{th} Catalan number is the number of full binary trees with n internal nodes, or n+1 leaves. It is also the number of ways of associating n applications of a binary operator as well as the number of ways that a convex polygon with n + 2 sides can be cut into triangles by connecting vertices with straight lines. (Full article...)
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Did you know –
- ... that one can list every positive rational number without repetition by breadth-first traversal of the Calkin–Wilf tree?
- ... that the Hadwiger conjecture implies that the external surface of any three-dimensional convex body can be illuminated by only eight light sources, but the best proven bound is that 16 lights are sufficient?
- ... that an equitable coloring of a graph, in which the numbers of vertices of each color are as nearly equal as possible, may require far more colors than a graph coloring without this constraint?
- ... that no matter how biased a coin one uses, flipping a coin to determine whether each edge is present or absent in a countably infinite graph will always produce the same graph, the Rado graph?
- ...that it is possible to stack identical dominoes off the edge of a table to create an arbitrarily large overhang?
- ...that in Floyd's algorithm for cycle detection, the tortoise and hare move at very different speeds, but always finish at the same spot?
- ...that in graph theory, a pseudoforest can contain trees and pseudotrees, but cannot contain any butterflies, diamonds, handcuffs, or bicycles?
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