02 May 2007

Math IS useful!

As a liberal arts thinker, I have often dismissed math as something we have to put up with, like menstruation (we, being women--and men if you're married to one). I married an engineer so that I wouldn't have to really LEARN math myself. Having graduated from an engineering university, I have many friends who also like to do math; and while I enjoy their company, I've pondered the existential meaning of their mathematical nature.

Until now. Here is math put to [good] use. [from Mirabilis blog] Not necessarily useful, you understand. But if there's beer involved (and most of the math minds I know like beer) it must have been useful for them.

Mathematicians have come up with a formula that predicts how the head on a pint of beer will change after pouring.

Their advance could shed light on why the foam on a pint of lager quickly disappears, but the froth on a pint of Guinness sticks around.

The research could not only provide tips for better brewing, but could also have applications in metallurgy, say the authors.

I wonder if there's a study group formed to compare the speed of women and men's pouring technique. I'd like to volunteer for such a study. Particularly if I get to drink the beer.

I wonder if the equation takes into consideration how much beer someone has consumed before pouring the beer.

I wonder if they have thought to apply Heisenburg Uncertainty principle to the study of the foaming.

I wonder if there are graduate students getting credit [extra] for assisting the genius professor in the lab with the beer.

I wonder...

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