Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

# When Will I Use Math?

## WeUseMath.org

# Staff's blog

## Is Math the Key to Curing Cancer?

Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has noticed patterns in the way cancer spreads. He is advocating a higher degree of mathematical study for researchers who are delving into the disease.

## You Can Do It!

Anyone who has spent time trying to solve a Rubik's Cube knows it can be frustrating. (How quickly you can turn order into chaos, never to return to order....) But with a little help from the makers of the cube, you might learn to do it. And quickly impress your friends.

## Building a Better Bridge

For centuries, we humans have been building big bridges. And just when we thought we had the science and math figured out to span waterways most efficiently, we may be in for some new discoveries.

Matthew Gilbert, a structural engineer in the United Kingdom, with his team of researchers, has developed a numerical optimization program that could help us build large suspension bridges even more effectively. Read more from *Science*.

## Solving the Case ... with Math

A math professor at Dartmouth College has found an interesting way to bring two of his interests--math and art--together. Using mathematical problem solving techniques, Daniel Rockmore is helping to detect art forgeries. Read the story from NPR.

## Mathematician Reveals Historical Mystery

An 1801 letter written to then-president Thomas Jefferson has drawn recent attention. The letter, written by University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Patterson, "was devoid of capital letters or spaces and scrambled in a way that left no readable segments," according to a Physorg article. A mathematician helped break the 200-year-old code in 2007, helping us understand more about the secret message sent to the president.

## Real World Math

Researchers in Alberta are using mathematics to predict driving patterns in order to understand the science of traffic jams. Their studies are helping to understand how the actions of one driver can amplify as a wave of behavior on a busy road. The behavior, researchers say, is similar to wave patterns caused by detonation explosions. A greater understanding of these patterns can help city planners to set safe speed limits and create a smoother commute for hundreds of thousands of people.

## Memorize this!

Was 2009 a good year for you? It was for French computer scientist Fabrice Bellard, who on December 31 claimed the world record for calculating pi to 2.7 trillion digits.

## Economy? Unpredictable. Math? Constant.

As the world's volatile economic situation fluctuates from day to day, a degree in a high-demand field provides an added security benefit. This Wall Street Journal article profiles a young math grad. in California whose job as an actuary is among the top jobs in the nation, based on environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress.

While the nation faces its highest unemployment rates in decades, a little job security can go a long way.

## Conquering Math

Many people fear they just don't have a knack for math. But The Star Phoenix reports that math is a skill that can be developed, not an inherent talent. This article lists easy ways students can become more comfortable in the math field. Take a look.

## Math in everyday use

It's the holiday season. And as you rush from one store to the next finding the perfect gifts, don't forget one of the most important aspects of holiday shopping: choosing just the right parking space.

A researcher in the UK has come up with a formula to help drivers determine the best parking space for their car to fit in to. Check it out here from cnet.

Have a cool math story or an instance of math in current events? Submit a blog entry about it to the site!

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” WeUseMath.org is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.

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