Portal:Mathematics
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Mathematics is the study of numbers, quantity, space, pattern, structure, and change. Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Used for calculation, it is considered the most important subject. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered. (Full article...)
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Game theory is a branch of mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. It studies strategic interactions between agents. In strategic games, agents choose strategies which will maximize their return, given the strategies the other agents choose. The essential feature is that it provides a formal modelling approach to social situations in which decision makers interact with other agents. Game theory extends the simpler optimisation approach developed in neoclassical economics.
The field of game theory came into being with the 1944 classic Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. A major center for the development of game theory was RAND Corporation where it helped to define nuclear strategies.
Game theory has played, and continues to play a large role in the social sciences, and is now also used in many diverse academic fields. Beginning in the 1970s, game theory has been applied to animal behaviour, including evolutionary theory. Many games, especially the prisoner's dilemma, are used to illustrate ideas in political science and ethics. Game theory has recently drawn attention from computer scientists because of its use in artificial intelligence and cybernetics. (Full article...)
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Did you know –
- … that the best known lower bound for the length of the smallest superpermutation was first posted anonymously to the internet imageboard 4chan?
- ...that the mathematician Grigori Perelman was offered a Fields Medal in 2006, in part for his proof of the Poincaré conjecture, which he declined?
- ...that a regular heptagon is the regular polygon with the fewest sides which is not constructible with a compass and straightedge?
- ...that the regular trigonometric functions and the hyperbolic trigonometric functions can be related without using complex numbers through the Gudermannian function?
- ...that the Catalan numbers solve a number of problems in combinatorics such as the number of ways to completely parenthesize an algebraic expression with n+1 factors?
- ...that a ball can be cut up and reassembled into two balls, each the same size as the original (Banach-Tarski paradox)?
- ...that it is impossible to devise a single formula involving only polynomials and radicals for solving an arbitrary quintic equation?
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