# Mathematics Weblog

## A Differential Equation

Thursday 21 September 2006 at 11:46 am | In Articles | 1 CommentIt’s nice to see mathematics in a newspaper, but in this case it’s just there to baffle. In the printed version of today’s Guardian financial viewpoint Nils Prately wrote (the online version doesn’t include the equation):

*At last, proof that PartyGaming, king of online poker, will soon find its flush busted. Here is the first line of the mathematical equation, fresh from UBS, the investment bank:*

*Wha’d’y’a mean you don’t get it? It’s a variation of a Lotka-Volterra differential equation for the modelling of eco-systems. Surely you’re familiar …*

Lotka-Volterra consists of a pair of differential equations so how can you print just the **first** line it’s like printing half a word. Then again, the printed equation isn’t a differential equation – I thought perhaps was a misreading of but seems to be the only independent variable so it’s probably . I presume there’s also another error since the equation, as printed, obviously simplifies to

The good news though is that they printed the equation using proper fonts and symbols so it did really look like mathematics

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I don’t think this is the first time they’ve had a maths story and messed up the equations. In fact, I’m pretty sure one (or both?) of us have blogged about them before!

They claim to be the only newspaper with a dedicated science team and with some science-y staff that other journalists can consult, which is laudable, but they obviously have no mathematicians on the staff.

Comment by Craig — Friday 22 September 2006 8:20 am #