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← Mathematics: stupid and clever questions for people who understand

Zeuglodon's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Zeuglodon

(3) Does anyone know what fields future discussions could address?

Chemistry would be an excellent topic. That subject deserves more attention given how important it was in shaping the Industrial Revolution, and it connects physics and biology. Or, unless you count it as a subset of mathematics, maybe a statistics thread? Or probability?

If you count stats as a subset of mathematics, then maybe you could explain why a large standard deviation does not make two sets of results useless when their averages are compared and diverge a little. You raised this point with me on another thread, but though you described it as a common intuitive error, I can't see why. I still have this image of a scatter graph in my head which suggests a weak to non-existent correlation.

If you need context, it was in that study about how The Thinker lowered people's confidence in god's existence. Do you remember it?

Comment 6 by Jos Gibbons

Your description of how the square root of -1 was accepted in mathematics was interesting, but wasn't it based effectively on a shortcut - i.e. on pragmatism? I may be misunderstanding this, but couldn't you arrive at the same answer using real numbers? I mean, to what real-world applications do imaginary numbers apply?

Thu, 10 May 2012 14:24:14 UTC | #940863