Popular Science articles about Mathematics & Economics

Social circles

If you live in a city, you know that a fair amount of your movement around town is social in nature. But how much, exactly? A new study co-authored by MIT researchers uses a new method to infer that around...

The Lancet: Obesity Series exposes 'unacceptably slow' progress in tackling soaring global obesity rates over last decade: Global failure to tackle obesity epidemic demands new ways of thinking, say leading experts

Global progress towards tackling obesity has been "unacceptably slow," with only one in four countries implementing a policy on healthy eating up to 2010, according to a major new six-part...

Social network analysis privacy tackled

Protecting people's privacy in an age of online big data is difficult, but doing so when using visual representations of such things as social network data may present unique challenges,...

Unraveling the complex web of global food trade

Growing global trade is critically important for providing food when and where it's needed -- but it makes it harder to link the benefits of food and the environmental burden...

F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness

Whether it's Arabic movie subtitles, books in Chinese, Spanish Twitter, German websites, or music lyrics in English -- a study published in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>, by scientists at the University of Vermont and The Mitre Corporation, found a clear positive bias in human language. In other words, we -- humanity -- "use more happy words than sad words.In 1969, two psychologists at the University of Illinois proposed what they called the Pollyanna Hypothesis -- the idea that there is a universal human tendency to use positive words...

Programming safety into self-driving cars

The driving routes (in green) computed by a Lexicographic Value Iteration (LVI) algorithm for an attentive driver (above) and a tired driver (below) based on traffic and road conditions.For decades, researchers in artificial intelligence, or AI, worked on specialized problems, developing theoretical concepts and workable algorithms for various aspects of the field. Computer vision, planning and reasoning experts...

Building trustworthy big data algorithms

Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and...

To reassure electric car buyers, combine battery leasing with better charging: INFORMS study

A proper choice of business model plays a critical role in electric vehicle industry where many consumers are subject to range and resale anxieties. In particular, a combination of owning...

When the price just feels right: Do rounded numbers appeal to our emotions?

Consumers usually look for the lowest price when shopping for a product. But can prices sometimes just feel right? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research,...

Does black-and-white advertising help consumers make better decisions?

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, black-and-white advertising gets consumers to focus on basic product features while color advertising can influence consumers to pay more...

Big data may be fashion industry's next must-have accessory

Big data may be the next new thing to hit the fashion industry's runways, according to a team of researchers.

Oat breakfast cereals may contain a common mold-related toxin

Oats are often touted for boosting heart health, but scientists warn that the grain and its products might need closer monitoring for potential mold contamination. They report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that some oat-based breakfast cereals...

State funding boosts stem cell research in California, other states

When federal funding regulations created limitations on human embryonic stem cell research, several states created their own funding programs. A new study analyzed stem cell funding programs in four states...

Urban pollinators get the job done, SF State study finds

These are tomato plants, with bags placed over some floral clusters to prevent bees from visiting and other floral clusters left open to the air.Having trouble getting those fruits and vegetables in your backyard to grow? Don't blame the bees.

Power efficiency in the violin

Some of the most prized violins in the world were crafted in the Italian workshops of Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri -- master violinmaking families from the 17th and 18th centuries...

Novel method projects growth potential of new firms

New businesses spring up all the time in the U.S. But which ones have the greatest ability to become big? A method developed by MIT researchers, based on an empirical...

Renewable biofuel production avoids competition with food resources

The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research,...

Privacy challenges

In this week's issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information -- the dates and locations of four purchases -- are enough...

NREL reports examine economic trade-offs of owning versus leasing a solar photovoltaic system

Two new reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examine the economic options customers face when deciding how to finance commercial or residential solar energy systems. NREL...

Trying to project an image of success? It could make you dwell on your failures

Life is full of experiences that challenge how we see ourselves and we often compensate by buying products that reinforce our ideal self-image. A new study in the Journal of...

In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly.

Consumer loyalty driven by aesthetics over functionality

When designing a new car, manufacturers might try to attract consumers with more horsepower, increased fuel efficiency or a lower price point. But new research from San Francisco State University...

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