Author Archives: Graham Shawcross

About Graham Shawcross

Architect PhD student at Edinburgh University Interested in order, rhythm and pattern in Architectural Design

Königsberg Bridges

Background The great Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, who had been asked by the Mayor of Danzig to provide a solution to the Königsberg Bridge problem, sent him this disdainful reply: “. . .  Thus you see, most noble Sir, how this type of … Continue reading

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Weber’s Law

Weber’s Law expresses a general relationship between an initial stimulus, a quantity or intensity, and the increased stimulus required for a change in the stimulus to be detected. The task is to tell apart, or discriminate, two things that differ … Continue reading

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Baboon Counting Algorithms

Human counting can be thought of as a kind of condition controlled logic where counters increment a sequence of labels “one, two, three four…” until some condition is met. (Cantlon et al. 2015) The diagram below illustrates some, but not all, … Continue reading

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Place Value

Laplace “The ingenious method of expressing every possible number using a set of ten symbols (each symbol having a place value and an absolute value) emerged in India. The idea seems so simple nowadays that its significance and profound importance … Continue reading

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Jevons’es Data

In 1871 the early economist and logician William Stanley Jevons published an article in Nature “The Power of Numerical Discrimination” (Jevons 1871) According to Jevons, Sir William Hamilton had clearly stated the problem: “Assuming that the mind is not limited to … Continue reading

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Shooting Baboons: A Story

If a man with a gun goes to shoot baboons near the edge of a forest, the baboons will see him coming, hide in the forest and not come out until he is seen to go away. If the first … Continue reading

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Beau Geste Hypothesis

In the 1924 book Beau Geste, and the many film versions that followed it, the climax of the action takes place in the desert at Fort Zinderneuf where members of the French Foreign Legion are attempting to hold off an Arab  attack. … Continue reading

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