Lo how a rose e'er blooming From tender stem hath sprung As I write this blog post, a radio station is playing Chrismas music. One of my favorite Christmas songs is the old German hymn that many of us know as "Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming." I was humming

## Tag: **Math**

In my article about finding an initial guess for root-finding algorithms, I stated that Newton's root-finding method "might not converge or might converge to a root that is far away from the root that you wanted to find." A reader wanted more information about that statement. I have previously shown

"Daddy, help! Help me! Come quick!" I heard my daughter's screams from the upstairs bathroom and bounded up the stairs two at a time. Was she hurt? Bleeding? Was the toilet overflowing? When I arrived in the doorway, she pointed at the wall and at the floor. The wall was

Equations that involve trigonometric functions can have infinitely many solutions. For example, the solution to the equation tan(θ)=1 is θ = π/4 + kπ, where k is any integer. In order to obtain a unique solution to the equation, we define the "arc" functions: inverse trigonometric functions that return a

Last week I was chatting with some mathematicians and I mentioned the blog post that I wrote last year on the distribution of Pythagorean triples. In my previous article, I showed that there is an algorithm that uses matrix multiplication to generate every primitive Pythagorean triple by starting with the

Pascal's triangle is the name given to the triangular array of binomial coefficients. The nth row is the set of coefficients in the expansion of the binomial expression (1 + x)n. Complicated stuff, right? Well, yes and no. Pascal's triangle is known to many school children who have never heard of polynomials

When I studied high school geometry, I noticed that many homework problems involved right triangles whose side lengths were integers. The canonical example is the 3-4-5 right triangle, which has legs of length 3 and 4 and a hypotenuse of length 5. The triple (3, 4, 5) is called a

Although I currently work as a statistician, my original training was in mathematics. In many mathematical fields there is a result that is so profound that it earns the name "The Fundamental Theorem of [Topic Area]." A fundamental theorem is a deep (often surprising) result that connects two or more

Prime numbers are strange beasts. They exhibit properties of both randomness and regularity. Recently I watched an excellent nine-minute video on the Numberphile video blog that shows that if you write the natural numbers in a spiral pattern (called the Ulam spiral), then there are certain lines in the pattern

My daughter's middle school math class recently reviewed how to compute the greatest common factor (GCF) and the least common multiple (LCM) of a set of integers. (The GCF is sometimes called the greatest common divisor, or GCD.) Both algorithms require factoring integers into a product of primes. While helping

From figuring out the optimal price a company should charge for soup to forecasting an organization's financial outcomes, each day brings a new business challenge for Wendy McHenry, systems engineer at SAS. Her "How can we help?" attitude is only part of the equation for successful customer relationships. Find out how math

Math and analytics are back “in vogue,” says Kathy Lange, member of the Americas Business Analytics practice at SAS. Since she was little, Kathy has seen the world as one big math problem, and her devotion to mathematics is overwhelmingly clear in this lively interview. Read on below, and be

Christian Haxholdt, an analytics consultant in Global Professional Services and Delivery, has a passion for probability. Originally from Denmark, Christian is a former professor of statistics, and although he no longer teaches, he’s still an avid learner. Read on for his spirited interview, and be sure to check out the

A senior manager in the analytics product management group, Tonya Balan sees herself as a bridge between SAS customers and R&D, ensuring that SAS products stay relevant to the needs of the customer. With a background in statistics and experience as a college professor, Tonya shares her excellent advice and

Imre Polik, senior operations research specialist in the operations research group, truly qualifies as a math lover. Having studied math his entire life—and having taught it for two years—Imre offers some valuable words of wisdom and experience. He even has a couple of stories and jokes up his sleeves! Read

Tammy Jackson, a senior research statistician developer in the economics technology group, says her job is like taking a math test all day—but she wouldn’t have it any other way. With a background in matrices, linear algebra and math education, Tammy is proud of her work and has a keen eye for

Math is a system of rules, and so is computer software, says Joseph Pingenot, a software developer in the Enterprise Miner group. Pingenot—whose background in physics includes modeling quantum wells, semiconductor research and next-generation electronics—uses math every day, at work and at home. Read on to find out how! How

Birds migrate south in the fall. Squirrels gather nuts. Humans also have behavioral rituals in the autumn. I change the batteries in my smoke detectors, I switch my clocks back to daylight standard time, and I turn the mattress on my bed. The first two are relatively easy. There's even

Today is the birthday of Bernhard Riemann, a German mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the fields of geometry, analysis, and number theory. Riemann is definitely on my list of the greatest mathematicians of all time, and his conjecture about the distribution of prime numbers is one of the great