The World Is Maths



Flight and Fight

Back in 2010 I, and 12 million other people, became slightly addicted to a little game called Angry Birds.  I stopped playing after a couple of months, like I always do with these things, not sure what happened to it then, probably petered out like so many other overnight success stories.

The premise of the game was to get your little birds to destroy some nasty green piggies who were stealing your eggs by launching them from a slingshot at the pigs’ defences.  I can see why those birds were angry, I would be if I were repeatedly being launched, projectile-style, at towers of wood and ice and stone.  That’s gotta hurt.

The programmers use some fairly simple mathematics to get those birds to move in a realistic way.  You intuitively expect the birds to move through the air in the way they do because all objects move like that, unless some force causes them to change their path.  Picture it now – imagine throwing a tennis ball, what shape does the path of the ball take? What about a diver jumping off a diving board, or a bullet flying through the air, or water spouts from a fountain? Continue reading “Flight and Fight”


Power-ful Computing

We’re generally familiar with the term exponential growth:

“Her business has been growing exponentially since its start 6 months ago.”

“My number of followers on Twitter has been growing exponentially since I started sharing cat memes.”

It’s doubtful how often the use of the term is mathematically correct, it seems to have slipped into common parlance.  What does it actually mean?  Well, it’s really quite simple.   Continue reading “Power-ful Computing”

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