Making Math Delicious: The Research Cortex


Last time I posted, I was the grouchy mathematician “telling data scientists to get off my lawn” as I attempted to persuade you that eating Brussels sprouts of Math is just as cool as eating that thick porterhouse steak named Data Science. (Disclaimer: I recognize all diets as equally valid, and WLOG operate in the space where Brussels sprouts are uncool and steaks are cool.) Data Science gets to be that porterhouse because its practitioners not only demonstrate its nutritional value to a business, but found a way to make it delectable, satisfying, and visually appealing to a wide audience. We all know that Brussels sprouts are nutritious, but in that way that tastes nutritious. With all this in mind, I’d like to provide a recipe for preparing those Brussels sprouts in a way that doesn’t feel like you are forcing them down while your mother glares at you.


Meet the Research Cortex at


The Research Cortex has the lofty goal of doing for mathematics what so many others have done for data science—make it rigorous, yet accessible to a wide audience that spans disciplines and industries. This new sibling of The Data Cortex serves as the unofficial hub for academic research of Dell EMC’s Data Protection Division CTO Team. Initially, our focus will be primarily mathematics.


The work we’ll publish is original, rigorous content… with a twist. Shortly after publishing a new paper, we add video overviews about the work and the key results. We also feature video microcontent (Math Snacks) that spans various topics and metatopics in mathematics. Our first series of Math Snacks looks at types of mathematical proofs, beginning with direct proofs, in order to give some insight into how mathematicians approach problems.


The scope of the research is broad; no echo chambers here. We want full exploration of all branches of mathematics, pure and applied. Our first published work, by yours truly, examines sequences of dependent random variables and constructs a new probability distribution that analytically handles correlated categorical random variables. The next paper is the first part of a Masters thesis by Jonathan Johnson, currently a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, discussing summation chains of sequences. Future work will touch queuing theory, reliability theory, algebraic statistics, and anything else that needs a home and an audience.


Mathematics is that underground river that nurtures every other branch of science and engineering. My hope is that, by making these theoretical and foundational works accessible and enjoyable to consume, we can spark innovative ideas and applications by our readers in any area they can think of.


I also want to take the time to acknowledge those who helped the Research Cortex go from a mathematician’s lofty ideal to a tangible (sort of) object. Mariah Arevalo, a software engineer in the ELDP program at Dell EMC is the site administrator, designer, social media manager, and other titles I’m sure I’ve missed. I’ll also throw a quick shout-out to Jason Hathcock for the assistance in video design and production, and music composition.


We are very proud of the Data Cortex’s new brother, and hope you will bookmark and visit regularly to check out all our new content.


~Rachel Traylor @ Mathopocalypse

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