Peter Lynch

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Tom Lehrer, mathematician, singer, songwriter and satirist, was born in New York 90 years ago. He was active in public performance for about 25 years (...)

You have probably noticed the little rectangles in the camera of your smartphone; this is face detection in action.

As you pass through an airport, you are photographed several times by security systems. Face recognition systems can identify you by comparing your di(...)

A spiral has appeared over the past decade or so on the beach between Booterstown station and the Merrion Gates, southeast of Dublin. A sandbank (pictured) has gradually built up, driven by the action of the sea waves, and has assumed a form close to a logarithmic spiral.

We all know what a spiral looks like. Or do we? Ask your friends to describe one and they will probably trace out the form of a spiral staircase. But (...)

Bill Miller. Had he retired in 2006, everyone “would have thought I was a genius”, he said last year. “By 2009, I was like an idiot.” Photograph: Heidi Gutman/Getty Images

One of the most important determinants of investment success is also one of the most underappreciated – luck. The investors who enjoy the cosiest ret(...)

Kelvin’s tide machine. Belfast-born William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) developed the science by constructing the harmonic theory of tides.

All who set a sail, cast a hook or take a dip have a keen interest in the water level, and the regular ebb and flow of the tides. At most places the t(...)

Piet Hein: “The Universe may / Be as great as they say / But it wouldn’t be missed / If it didn’t exist”

This article is about nothing: nothing at all, as encapsulated in the number zero and the empty set. It took humanity millennia to move beyond the cou(...)

Measurement of the Lough Foyle baseline in 1828-29.

On a glorious sunny June day we reached the summit of Céidín, south of the Glen of Imall, to find a triangulation station or trig pillar. These concre(...)

The Parthenon: the observer sees the eight columns of the façade as a perfectly regular array, but this is achieved by deliberately introducing subtle distortions.

The Parthenon is a masterpiece of symmetry and proportion. This temple to the Goddess Athena was built with pure white marble and was erected without (...)

The Joyce tower in Sandycove, Co Dublin, from which Stephen Dedalus began his odyssey in ‘Ulysses’.

As Bloomsday approaches, there is merit in reflecting on James Joyce’s relationship with mathematics. He entered UCD in September 1898. His examinatio(...)

Winton Gallery exhibition’s  first  World War biplane, surrounded by a stretched canopy of synthetic fabric, curved in the form of the gyrating airflow.

The new Winton Gallery at London’s Science Museum in South Kensington holds a permanent display on the history of mathematics over the past 400 years.(...)

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