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Mathematics - Social Sciences - 10.06.2024
Peers Crucial in Shaping Boys’ Confidence in Math Skills
Boys are good at math, girls not so much? A study from the University of Zurich has analyzed the social mechanisms that contribute to the gender gap in math confidence. While peer comparisons seem to play a crucial role for boys, girls' subjective evaluations are more likely to be based on objective performance.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 02.04.2024
How the brain senses body position and movement
How the brain senses body position and movement
Researchers at EPFL use neural networks to study proprioception, the sense the brain uses to "know" the body's movement and position. How does your brain know the position and movement of your different body parts? The sense is known as proprioception, and it is something like a "sixth sense", allowing us to move freely without constantly watching our limbs.

Mathematics - Pedagogy - 07.03.2024
Drawings of mathematical problems predict their resolution
Drawings of mathematical problems predict their resolution
Scientists show that our mental representations of mathematical problems influence our strategies for solving them. Solving arithmetic problems, even simple subtractions, involves mental representations whose influence remains to be clarified. Visualizing these representations would enable us to better understand our reasoning and adapt our teaching methods.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 26.05.2023
'For very small problem sizes a classical computer is faster'
’For very small problem sizes a classical computer is faster’
In theory, quantum computers vastly outperform classical computers in terms of computing speed. For them to do so in practice, it is necessary to design more and novel high-speed algorithms, says ETH supercomputing specialist Torsten Hoefler. Quantum computers promise to be capable of solving some computational problems much faster than classical computers.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 02.05.2023
Revealing how an embryo's cells sync up
Revealing how an embryo’s cells sync up
Scientists have known that when a mouse embryo is developing, the cells that will become its spine and muscles switch specific genes on and off repeatedly, in a synchronous fashion. However, there are deep mysteries about how these cells synchronize. FMI researchers have now developed a mathematical model that not only better explains how spontaneous synchronization arises in a developing mouse embryo, but may also offer some fundamental clues about how other biological systems sync up.

Mathematics - 06.04.2023
Turbulent affairs: Scientists enhance the simulation of strong flow phenomena
Turbulent affairs: Scientists enhance the simulation of strong flow phenomena
It doesn't have to be a hurricane or a tsunami - even a simple running water tap induces a shock wave upon impact with the sink. Now, with the help of CSCS's supercomputer "Piz Daint", mathematician Siddhartha Mishra of ETH Zürich is working to overcome current barriers to simulating and comprehending highly turbulent flows.

Mathematics - 14.02.2023
Tossing coins to understand spheres
EPFL mathematicians, in collaboration with Purdue University, have settled a 30-year-old question about spheres and 4-dimensional spaces. The results bring new light to the "Euler Class," one of the most powerful tools to understand complicated spaces. For mathematicians, "Euler Class" is one of the most powerful tools for understanding complicated spaces by cutting them into simpler pieces.

Physics - Mathematics - 30.09.2022
Computational shortcut for neural networks
Computational shortcut for neural networks
Neural networks are learning algorithms that approximate the solution to a task by training with available data. However, it is usually unclear how exactly they accomplish this. Two young Basel physicists have now derived mathematical expressions that allow one to calculate the optimal solution without training a network.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 28.09.2022
Better understanding of cellular metabolism with the help of AI
Better understanding of cellular metabolism with the help of AI
Metabolism is essential to all living organisms, and modeling the chemical reactions that sustain life is no easy task. Now, scientists have released REKINDLE, paving the way for more efficient and accurate modeling of metabolic processes thanks to deep-learning. The way an organism metabolizes nutrients is a complex process.

Physics - Mathematics - 28.07.2022
A key role for quantum entanglement
A key role for quantum entanglement
A method known as quantum key distribution has long held the promise of communication security not possible in conventional cryptography. For the first time, an international team of scientists, including researchers from EPFL, has demonstrated experimentally an approach to quantum key distribution based on high-quality quantum entanglement - offering much broader security guarantees than previous schemes.

Mathematics - Physics - 22.06.2022
As they search for beauty
As they search for beauty
At its heart, is mathematics an aesthetic discipline? Or what does it mean if someone finds a proof -beautiful- And what does mathematical beauty say about physical connections? To this day, mathematics includes beautiful facts that are also familiar to us in everyday life. The golden ratio, for example, has been revered since an­tiquity as representing the most aesthetically pleasing proportions.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.05.2022
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How cells correct errors under time pressure
How does a cell balance risk and speed when dividing? scientists have developed and experimentally tested the first mathematical theory that describes the cell's best strategy for dividing safely and efficiently. Cells go through a life cycle that includes growing to the right size, being equipped to perform its functions, and finally dividing into two new cells.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 13.04.2022
Enhancer-promoter interactions - distance matters
Enhancer-promoter interactions - distance matters
When and where a gene is transcribed in a living organism often depends on its physical interactions with distal genomic regulatory regions called enhancers. Researchers in the group of Luca Giorgetti have thrown light on how such interactions control transcription thanks to a novel ingenious experimental approach combined with mathematical modelling.

Life Sciences - Mathematics - 06.04.2022
Build neurons with mathematics
Build neurons with mathematics
Researchers from EPFL have found a way to use only mathematics to automatically draw neurons in 3D, meaning we are getting closer to being able to build digital twins of brains. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a Spanish physician from the turn of the 19 th century, is considered by most to be the father of modern neuroscience.

Health - Mathematics - 25.02.2022
Mathematics helps AI in biomedicine
Mathematics helps AI in biomedicine
"Data is the new oil", it has often been said. Indeed, in the digital age data is the fuel that runs the engines of digital media, advanced informatics (AI, machine learning etc.) and, not least, scientific research. Nevertheless, when facing certain highly complex issues, data-driven approaches may not always be the most effective solutions.

Mathematics - Physics - 27.01.2022
A mathematical secret of lizard camouflage
A mathematical secret of lizard camouflage
A multidisciplinary team at the University of Geneva has succeeded in explaining the complex distribution of scales in the ocellated lizard by means of a simple equation. The shape-shifting clouds of starling birds, the organization of neural networks or the structure of an anthill: nature is full of complex systems whose behaviors can be modeled using mathematical tools.

Mathematics - Physics - 04.11.2021
Securing data transfers with relativity
Securing data transfers with relativity
A team from the University of Geneva has implemented a new way to secure data transfers based on the physical principle of relativity. The volume of data transferred is constantly increasing, but the absolute security of these exchanges cannot be guaranteed, as shown by cases of hacking frequently reported in the news.

Health - Mathematics - 26.08.2021
Improving contact-tracing apps in the COVID-19 era
Improving contact-tracing apps in the COVID-19 era
An international collaboration with EPFL has developed a method to improve the performance of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps by taking into account a user's recent contacts, risk levels and shared information about tests and symptoms. Contact-tracing apps like SwissCovid have enormous potential to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mathematics - 16.07.2021
Four cryptographic vulnerabilities in Telegram
Four cryptographic vulnerabilities in Telegram
An international research team of cryptographers completed a detailed security analysis of the popular Telegram messaging platform identifying several weaknesses in its protocol that demonstrate the product falls short of some essential data security guarantees. Working with only open-source code and without "attacking" any of Telegram's running systems, a small team of international researchers completed a detailed analysis of the company's encryption services.

Mathematics - 14.06.2021
Modeling the friction between pages in a book
Modeling the friction between pages in a book
Engineers at EPFL and École Polytechnique in France analyzed the friction between pages in a book and the mechanical force needed to bend them. Drawing on their experiments, they developed a new theoretical model for predicting the elasto-frictional behavior of stacked layers. It all started with a shaky washing machine.
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