November 30th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

How math can detect Parkinson’s disease

Editor’s Note: Max Little is an applied mathematician and founder of the Parkinson's Voice Initiative. Watch a 30-min profile of Little on CNN Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Little's research suggests voice algorithms can be used to detect Parkinson’s disease.

By Max Little, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The most mysterious and wonderful thing that science has discovered is that reality can be understood mathematically. Just a few simple mathematical concepts, simple enough to teach to children - such as sets, calculus and symmetry - suffice to describe most of the world around us, from the flow of water to the fundamental particles of nature and the nuclear turmoil at the heart of stars, hundreds of light-years away.

There's a beauty to mathematics. Mathematics is the language of reality.

Take sound, for example. Just two simple mathematical concepts together mean that, over a short period of time, all sounds can be broken down into waves of different frequencies. So the different textures or timbres of different sounds emerge as simple consequences of the mathematical patterns of nature. FULL POST

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Filed under: Science • The Next List