I am an engineer who encounters interesting math and science problems almost every day. I am not talking about BIG math here. These are everyday problems where a little bit of math really goes a long way. I thought I would write some of them down and see if others also found them interesting.

## Fireflies and Supernova

Introduction Scientists always face the problem of making their work accessible to the public. Accessibility is crucial to scientific research continuing to receive funding. Part of this accessibility is creating analogies that relate scientific data to aspects of everyday life. … Continue reading

## Too Many Definitions of Candle

I have been doing some reading about photometry lately and I noticed that the unit of lighting called the candle has had quite a history. I used to work for a metrology company and I have always been interested in … Continue reading

## Atmospheric Filtering of Sunlight

Introduction Today, I was asked a question about the amount of visible optical power that actually reaches the Earth’s surface. I also need to compute the illuminance of this optical power, which tells me how bright this light appears. The … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, General Science | 1 Comment

## A Tale of Modern Life

I have mentioned that I manage an engineering team that has multiple projects going on at any one time. I have a project going on in China at this moment that involves two engineers. One of the engineers told me … Continue reading

## Star Visual Magnitude Math

Introduction I have been reading a number of interesting astronomy articles lately. These articles often refer to the apparent and absolute magnitude of a celestial object or event (example). I thought I would work through a bit of the math … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, General Science | 1 Comment

Introduction I was watching Global Public Square on CNN when they presented a trivia question that seemed interesting. Which nation has the most tornadoes relative to its land area? (a) Britain, (b) Bangladesh, (C) Belgium, (D) United States. The answer … Continue reading

Posted in General Science | 2 Comments

## Computing Useful Customer Analogies

Introduction Communicating scientific concepts to the public is a tough problem. One of the major issues is that people have a difficult time imagining the relative scale of things — just try to think of 1000 of something versus 10 … Continue reading

## Lightning Protection Math

Introduction I get asked a lot of questions about the specific values that are used in engineering standards. At some level, you just meet the required values in these standards. You do not need to know why they were set … Continue reading

## Mothers and Sons

I had to laugh yesterday. We live next to a mom with two boys — a 4-year old and a newborn. As I went out for my nightly walk, this rather haggard-looking mom told me that her 4-year boy is … Continue reading