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Presented at the College of Arts and Sciences Lecture Series held at the Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines, on June 17, 2008

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You are on page 1of 25

jrnoche@adnu.edu.ph

Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences, Ateneo de Naga University

The Role of Mathematics in the Total Development of the Human Person

given during the College of Arts and Sciences Panel Discussion

last February 9, 2008

Abstract

ical, physical, and engineering sciences, but also in areas

such as literature, art, and the social sciences.

search for truth and beauty. Knowledge of mathematical

concepts and proficiency in mathematical skills greatly

benefit people regardless of their interests or fields of

specialty.

1

The capture-recapture method

(Glencoe, 1994)

Capture some fish, count them, mark them in some way, then

put them back in the lake.

Some time later, capture some more fish (call them recaptured

fish), count them, count how many have your mark, then put

them back in the lake.

=

P number of recaptured fish

2

Proof-reading an article for typographical errors

(Barrow, 1998)

errors, Bob finds B typing errors. They compare copies and find

that they both found the same error C times. How many errors

are most likely to remain unfound?

Let E be the total number of errors. The number that are

unfound is U = E − A − B + C. If the probability that Alice finds

an error is p, and the probability that Bob finds an error is q, then

A = pE, B = qE, and C = pqE. Thus, AB = CE and E = AB/C.

The number of unfound errors is U = (AB/C) − A − B + C =

(AB − AC − BC + C 2)/C = (A − C)(B − C)/C, that is,

U =

no. found by both Alice and Bob

3

Who wrote

The Royal Book of Oz?

(Binongo, 2003)

Wonderful Wizard of Oz in

1900. He died in 1919 while

writing the 14th Oz book

Glinda of Oz. The 15th Oz

book The Royal Book of

Oz, was supposedly written

by Baum and ‘enlarged and

edited’ by Ruth Thompson.

By 1939, Thompson had

published the 33rd Oz book.

4

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

5

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

the 6.7 with 0.7 up 0.3 into 0.2 just 0.2

and 3.7 but 0.7 no 0.3 now 0.2 very 0.2

to 2.6 for 0.7 out 0.3 down 0.2 where 0.2

a/an 2.3 at 0.6 what 0.3 over 0.2 before 0.2

of 2.1 this/these 0.5 then 0.3 back 0.2 upon 0.1

in 1.3 so 0.5 if 0.3 or 0.2 about 0.1

that/those 1.0 all 0.5 there 0.3 well 0.2 after 0.1

it 1.0 on 0.5 by 0.3 which 0.2 more 0.1

not 0.9 from 0.4 who 0.3 how 0.2 why 0.1

as 0.7 one/ones 0.3 when 0.2 here 0.2 some 0.1

verbs and personal pronouns were not included. Misspellings

were corrected and contractions were expanded.

6

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

This yielded a matrix of 223 text blocks and 50 words.

To help us visualize this, the multivariate statistical tech-

nique of principal component analysis was used. The best

two-dimensional approximation is found by rotating the

original 50 axes to new axes so that the latter represent

directions of decreasing variability. The 50 principal com-

ponent (PC) scores are approximated by the first two PC

scores.

7

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

8

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

Component loadings

9

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

10

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

11

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

12

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

13

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

14

Who wrote The Royal Book of Oz? (continued)

(Binongo, 2003)

15

No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock

(New York Times, 2006)

edly sold for about $140 million,

the highest sum ever known to have

been paid for a painting.

16

Fractal analysis of Pollock’s drip paintings

(Taylor, Micolich, & Jonas, 1999; Taylor, 2002)

tool for determining the fundamental con-

tent of the abstract paintings produced by

Jackson Pollock in the late 1940s. Pollock

dripped paint from a can onto vast canvases

rolled out across the floor of his barn. Al-

though this unorthodox technique has been

recognized as a crucial advancement in the

evolution of modern art, the precise quality

and significance of the patterns created are

controversial. Here we describe an analysis

of Pollock’s patterns which shows, first, that

they are fractal, reflecting the fingerprint of

nature, and, second, that the fractal dimen-

sions increased during Pollock’s career.

17

Fractals are self-similar (Taylor, 2002)

18

The fractal character of Pollock’s paintings

(Taylor, 2002)

computer. It is separated into

its different colored patterns,

then covered with a computer-

generated mesh of identical

squares. The computer analyzes

which squares are occupied and

which are empty. This is done

for different mesh sizes. The

patterns were found to be frac-

tal over the entire size range.

19

The fractal character of Pollock’s paintings (continued)

(Taylor, 2002)

showed that the complexity of the

fractal patterns, D, increased as Pol-

lock refined his technique.

One D value is clearly an outlier—1.9

in 1950, a work that Pollock later de-

stroyed. He may have thought this im-

age was too dense or too complex and

subsequently scaled back.

20

Admissions discrimination?

(COMAP, 1997, pp. 329–331)

admit only some of the students who apply. There were com-

plaints about discrimination in the admissions process.

Eighty men applied to limited-enrollment courses and 35 were

admitted. But only 20 of the 60 women who applied were ac-

cepted. Almost half the men (44%), but only one-third of the

women (33%), were admitted.

Inferential statistics can show that this difference is much larger

than could reasonably be expected to occur simply by chance.

Can we thus safely conclude that in this case men were being

favored over women?

21

Admissions discrimination? (continued)

(COMAP, 1997, pp. 329–331)

istry, and history and sociology of the TV sitcom.

Men Women Men Women

Admit 5 10 Admit 30 10

Deny 15 30 Deny 30 10

Total 20 40 Total 60 20

fourth of the women were admitted. In the TV sitcom course,

one-half of each group got in. In all cases, women and men were

treated exactly alike.

22

Admissions discrimination? (continued)

(COMAP, 1997, pp. 329–331)

Most women signed up for the course that was hard to get into,

and most men applied for the easier course. That is why fewer

women than men were admitted.

The percentages of men and of women admitted were not just

a function of the admissions process, but also of which course a

student applied for.

We were misled by an inaccurate mathematical model.

23

References

Barrow, J. (1998). Impossibility: The limits of science and the science of

limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Binongo, J. (2003). Who wrote the 15th book of Oz? An application of

multivariate analysis to authorship attribution. Chance, 16(2), 9–17.

Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. (1997). For all practical

purposes: Introduction to contemporary mathematics (4th ed.). New York:

W.H. Freeman and Company.

Glencoe. (1994). Involving parents and the community in the mathematics

classroom. New York: Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

New York Times, The. (2006, November 2). A Pollock is sold, possibly for a

record price. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/

11/02/arts/design/02drip.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=arts&adxnnlx=1163031599

-revbGMuaIhdTP4qLonq8BA&oref=slogin

Taylor, R. (2002). Order in Pollock’s chaos. Scientific American, 287(6),

116–121.

Taylor, R., Micolich, A., & Jonas, D. (1999). Fractal analysis of Pollock’s

drip paintings. Nature, 399, 422.

24

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