One for Doctor Q: BBC Math Podcast

Discussion in 'Community' started by Blue Velvet, Aug 23, 2005.

Joined:
Jul 4, 2004

Joined:
Jan 21, 2005

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#3
The article includes a handy tip for cheating on your taxes. Perhaps that's incentive enough to read it.

Joined:
Apr 3, 2004
Location:
#4

So when we cheat on our tax returns, are we meant to use numbers starting with one or not?

Meh, I'm too stupid to be dishonest.

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#5
I think the point is that if you use real data, 30% of the numbers will start with 1. So if you fake your data, you should still have that percentage. If the percentage of numbers starting with 1 is closer to 10% instead of 30%, it can be a sign that you faked the data.

Oddly enough, if your real data has few numbers starting with 1, you would make them less suspicious by changing to fake data where the count is closer to 30%!

You said "I'm too stupid to be dishonest." If I tell you that's probably not the case, I hope you will take it as a compliment.

Joined:
Apr 3, 2004
Location:
#6
I'm just playing Doctor Q, but thanks for the advice and the compliment.

...I think.

7. wdlove macrumors P6

Joined:
Oct 20, 2002
#7
Just the thing for the math geek. Math is fun for those that find numbers interesting.

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#8
I tested Benford's Law on MacRumors member numbers of all currently registered forum members. While digit 1 was indeed most common as the first digit of member numbers, it was nowhere near the 30% predicted by the law. Member numbers are assigned sequentially, so Benford's Law apparently doesn't apply to such data.

File size:
37.3 KB
Views:
47
9. scubabeano macrumors member

Joined:
Aug 17, 2005
Location:
London
#9
does anyone here know much about phi? (Phi= 1.618033988749895..).
Obviously i've come across this in The DaVinci Code, but it's all very interesting.

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#10
I do! Surprise, surprise.

Phi is a Greek letter, and like other Greek letters used for many purposes in mathematics and otherwise. One of those is as the symbol for the Golden Ratio, which is equal to ( squareroot(5) + 1 ) / 2 and also 2 cos(pi/5) and also the positive root of the quadratic equation x^2 - x - 1 = 0. It is irrational, and begins 1.61803398874989484820458683436563811772030917980576.

It has the name "Golden Ratio" because of the property that led to its discovery and interesting uses. If you divide a line segment into two segments, a longer segment named A and a shorter segment named B, such that the ratio of B to A is the same as the ratio of A to the whole line segment, then A/B will be the Golden Ratio.

Why is it mentioned in books outside of mathematics? Because the Golden Ratio, when used in architecture (imagine a window or building or other structure having sides of length A and B) is thought to be aesthetically pleasing and there are theories that the ancient Greeks, Leonardo Da Vinci, and others used the Golden Ratio in plans and drawings.

Joined:
Apr 21, 2003
Location:
washington dc
#11
lots of animals and things in nature abide by the golden rule principal also. shells, trees, etc.

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#12
Yes, there is a three-way link among the Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci numbers, and the patterns such as the positions of leaves on a plant stem. So Mother Nature was apparently using the Golden Ratio for construction work even before the ancient Greeks.

Since it's a math-themed thread, I get to post this cartoon I spotted yesterday, the "Brevity" strip by former Olympian Guy Endore-Kaiser and former Australian Rodd Perry.

File size:
30.8 KB
Views:
38
13. scubabeano macrumors member

Joined:
Aug 17, 2005
Location:
London
#13
huh?

I don't understand the whys and whats, but it's pretty weird isn't it?
There's an amazing list of things that conform to phi on this site:
goldennumber.net

14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

Joined:
Dec 27, 2002
Location:
Location Location Location
#14
How come so many equations work out to the Golden number? I can understand values working out to this number up to a few decimal places, but..... but......

15. camomac macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jan 26, 2005
Location:
Left Coast
#15
that site is amazing!
very, very interesting that everything in nature can be applied to mathmatics in one form or another.

16. emw macrumors G4

Joined:
Aug 2, 2004
#16
Ah, you need to do this calculation on the times of day (in 24-hour time) of all posts.

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#17
Or on baby skull dimensions!

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#18
On second thought, here's a better test: the relative frequencies of the first digits of the numbers of views of the MacRumors threads that emw has started.

And look how it came out -- digit 1 has about 30%, as predicted by Benford's Law!

File size:
28.8 KB
Views:
37
19. emw macrumors G4

Joined:
Aug 2, 2004
#19
Sure, make it personal!

Staff Member

Joined:
Sep 19, 2002
Location:
Los Angeles
#20
The schedule of broadcasts of this BBC show are as follows:
Tue Aug 23 Programme 1: 1  the most popular number!

Tue Aug 30 Programme 2: 2 - At the double.

Tue Sep 06 Programme 3: 6 degrees of separation

Tue Sep 13 Programme 4: 6.67 x 10^-11  the number that defines the universe.

Tue Sep 20 Programme 5: 1729  the first taxicab number​
I hope they have more planned after that.

21. superbovine macrumors 68030

Joined:
Nov 7, 2003
#21
I wonder if it is on BBCA... hmmm

i'll look for it later...

22. ham_man macrumors 68020

Joined:
Jan 21, 2005
#22
We saw something about that as well. British program. Believe that Liz Hurley was the focus. Then we held up our celebrity faces to a "beautiful" Phi face chart, and they were all pretty much in line. Very interesting stuff...

23. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

Joined:
Jan 21, 2005
Location:
New Zealand
#23
This is insanely geeky, but Bender's serial number isn't 1729 (that must be his production number, judging by the Xmas card he gets from his mother). His serial number is 2716057, which is expressible as the sum of two cubes.

Strangely enough, this is the least geeky post in this thread so far