Tag Archives: Enumeration

Even 3-day-old Chicks Do It

An interesting series of experiments has recently been reported in Science.  (Regani et al 2015). These strongly support the idea that many animals and humans represent numbers by a mental number line where smaller values are located on the left … Continue reading

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Seriation

This is Archie, our then 3 year old grandson, after spontaneously reassembling a sawn up branch and being asked to pose with it for his delighted grandfather. Seriation is defined as “the forming of an orderly sequence” and was apparently first used in this sense in the 1650s. … Continue reading

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Number Names and Words

Number Names George Lakoff has pointed out that we do not normally distinguish numbers from what might be more properly be called number names. (Lakoff 1989)  The most common number naming systems adopt base-10 and use ten single-digit number names, … Continue reading

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What Counts

Numerical Abilities As well as being able to roughly compare continuous quantities, humans and animals of various sorts share a method of recognising small numbers of objects or sequences of events that is independent of language.  See Subitising and  Counting Ants Both … Continue reading

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Counting Ants This is not about how to count ants but how ants count. The post follows research by Zhanna Reznikova and Boris Ryabko that investigates the numerical capacities of ants using ideas from Information Theory such as Shannon entropy and Kolmogorov complexity. … Continue reading

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Missing Pullover Found

My long lost 1970s pullover, slip-over, or perhaps more properly 70s tank-top, has turned up at the back of a cupboard. Last year we had turned the house upside down looking for it. The design is apparently based on the colour … Continue reading

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Spatial Representation of Number

Francis Galton “…this peculiarity is found so far as my observations have extended, in about 1 out of every 30 adult males or 15 females. It consists in the sudden and automatic appearance of a vivid and invariable “Form” in … Continue reading

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Five Finger Exercises

Written and spoken numbers are represented differently. In English numbers are usually written with Arabic numerals or as a transliteration of the spoken version, for example 342 or three hundred and forty two. Rod counting provides a written representation of … Continue reading

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Subitising

The school report of Emily, our 4 year old grandchild, said that she could subitise up to the number 6, and I had no idea what this meant. Subitising is a technical term that comes from the Latin root subito … Continue reading

Posted in Aesthetics, Architecture, Brain Physiology, Design, Design Methods, Enumeration, Geometry, Randomness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Severely Constrained Design

When a design problem is severely constrained it becomes possible to generate all solutions to the problem. That is, it is possible to close out the problem. In the late 1960s and early 1970s the design of British Local Authority 2 and 3 … Continue reading

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