Now is the centenary of the eclipse that confirmed the theory of general relativity. "Every day, when we search the mobile phone map for a trajectory from our position, we are benefiting from Einstein's being right in making such a powerful and precise theory about what space and time are like," explains astrophysicist and disseminator Javier Armentia.
A statistical analysis of the effects of very hot nights on the death rate in Barcelona’s environment reveals that, during these nocturnal periods, more deaths occur due to natural, respiratory and cardiovascular causes. Although this year would seem to break the trend, the number of ‘tropical’ nights has increased in the Catalan capital over the last few decades.
The increase of skyscrapers in a city resembles the development of some living systems. Spanish researchers have created an evolutionary genetic algorithm that, on the basis of the historical and economic data of an urban area, can predict what its skyline could look like in the coming years. The method has been applied successfully to the thriving Minato Ward, in Tokyo.
Many students have felt intimidated by maths. There are many resources to teach you how to enjoy them, from magic to beans and apps. Experts in didactics insist on two keys for teachers and students: mistakes are part of the process and solving problems mechanically does not make sense. It is a matter of integrating them in one’s day-to-day life and learning to think.
Football enthusiasts suspected it, but now statistics is confirming it. After analysing all the matches of the Spanish league “La Liga” from the 2014-2015 season, two experts in sports science have found that the greater the difference on the scoreboard, the less stoppage time is added to the end of the game. When the score is tighter, however, referees tend to add more stoppage time when the team in the higher division is losing.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is investigating how to build a system that recreates human behavior. This technology could be applied to anticipate behavior in socioeconomic crises, create more human-like robots or develop avatars of artificial intelligence which are almost indistinguishable from those that represent people.
When ants go exploring in search of food they end up choosing collective routes that fit statistical distributions of probability. This has been demonstrated by a team of mathematicians after analysing the trails of a species of Argentine ant. Studies like this could be applied to coordinate the movement of micro-robots in cleaning contaminated areas for example.
Demographic changes in large cities depend on millions of individual decisions, but the population evolves depending on two factors: what ‘reminds’ them of their recent past and the existence of other urban areas around them. This is the proposal supported by a Spanish-Argentinean group of researchers through algorithms, which show how American cities have a 25-year-old memory and interact with others 200 km away while in the case of the Spain these values are 15 years and 80 km.
When we must choose between cooperating with others or betraying them, we are more likely to cooperate if they have acted like this with us or if we ourselves have behaved altruistically. We do so because learning reinforces what has gone well for us and not because we imitate successful people. These are the conclusions highlighted in a study conducted by the Carlos III University of Madrid based on the prisoner’s dilemma, a popular model for studying conflict.
A new method of monitoring identifies what information will be relevant on social networks up to two months in advance. This may help predict social movements, consumer reactions or possible outbreaks of epidemics, according to a study in the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) is participating.