Mathematics is Next to Godliness!

Explanations of the design choices for the Athena Parthenos

 

Back in the times of Ancient Greece and Rome, many religious architectures were created, letting the people of the times honor their gods and goddesses. One of the most famous ones is the Parthenon, of the Athena Parthenos, which was erected in the name and honor of the goddess Athena, whose power was of battle-strategy and wisdom (plus olives and owls!). While many people look at the building with the idea that it is perfectly straight and linear, the Parthenon is far from such.

This article here explains how the Parthenon was created using curves and column-swelling to create a gigantic, beautiful optical illusion, while also making the building structurally sound. How you may ask? As shown above, the design decisions were made in a way that, from a distance, everything looks just as we see it – straight and linear. If it really was what we think it is, the roof would sag in the middle. and the columns would look a bit awkward. The roof is actually a dome, while the columns swell in their middles, and both designs working together help to support the massive building, which would otherwise collapse from its own weight since it’s made of stone. This article is definitely a good read if you appreciate architecture, or even if you like to be wowed by people of history and their cleverness!

Video Game Item Hauls…Using Math!

Pokemon Game Maps from all Pokemon video game locations
http://pre07.deviantart.net/a37c/th/pre/i/2011/263/e/a/monstermmorpg_full_map_pokemon_by_monstermmorpg-d485n2a.png

 

While it’s obvious that math is in all video games, between pixel designs and character stats, it’s also used when finding the best way to grab all of those pesky yet useful hidden items around a game map. While reading this link: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1608.06175.pdf, the Traveling Salesman Problem algorithm was found to be the best way to help players attain items that are scattered around games such as Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and the game that was used in the experiment done in the article, Far Cry 3. Through using the algorithm, the best routes can be found, either based on time or distance, while also taking into account cut-scenes, obstacles such as drop-offs and climbing, and more video-game attributes that may get int the way of finding the fastest paths.

I found this to be really interesting, even if I’m not one for going on item hauls when I play video games. There are many people called “speed players” who are dedicated to cutting every corner to find the fastest ways to play their favorite games. Knowing just how rapid-fire the play, going into the minutes-range rather than finishing games in hours, they most likely use this algorithm to perfect their strategy. For anyone who likes to play on their XBox or Nintendo DS, do your math!

Biology Through Graph Theory

A DNA strand made up of multiple genes

Picture Link: http://www.extremenaturalhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/90/2014/04/Genes.jpg

 

The article I found describes how biologists can use graph theory to find out more about DNA structure and gene mutation to more accurately determine how genes and DNA strands work. Through microscopic networks, biologists can figure out how diseases spread through infected people and how genes mutate and affect other genes using this kind of math, where the graph expresses molecular structures. I found this article to be very interesting, as it takes math I didn’t think would connect to biology at all and actually makes it into a possible mathematical solution to genetic problems and disease control!

Voting Has Roots Going All The Way Back To Ancient Greece!

Link to article: https://www.ancient.eu/Athenian_Democracy/

Going back into the history of voting, the first voting method to be on record is the majority method, and it was most notably used in the Greek city-state of Athens, where men above the age of 18 went to a specific place called Pnyx hill and used pebbles and recording tablets to make their democratic decisions. I think this article is not only interesting because of it’s historical roots to voting and showing of just how old the idea of taking votes really is, but it also shows the importance of the majority method, especially in very democratic countries (I’m looking at you, U.S.).

                                              Greek men placing votes