Years lost to cancer

Update: the link the the info-graphic can be found here [link]   The Washington Post has an amazing graphical department and the daily charts are always worth a look. In this case they have compared the amount of money that the NCI invests in a given type of cancer in relation to the number of […]

Recording a podcast with Sandy Anderson

Sandy and Parmvir

Sandy is the chair of my department at Moffitt, the Integrated Mathematical Oncology department, and the reason I am working in a cancer hospital and collaborating with cancer biologists and doctors. He strongly believes in the integration of biology, mathematics and clinical data and talked with us about that and his work on a recording that we are now editing for an upcoming Pint of Science podcast.

Professors we need you

Professors we need you Academics are not as keen on our ivory towers as this article by NYT’s Nicholas Kristof might lead you to believe but the message is still clear. Academics, reach out or enjoy irrelevance. The article does seem to go on about how we academics use arcane language to deliberately obscure our […]

Valentin special: A mathematical approach to predict chromatic outcome from the combination of rosids

Title: A mathematical approach to predict chromatic outcome from the combination of rosids.

Author: Yours truly.


Since the late 1590s, the chromatic outcome of rosids has remained an unanswered question [1]. Despite the number of researchers and studies producing a wealth of data, that data so far remains inconclusive with different studies pointing  to different conclusions including different types of smell and flavour [2]. Mathematical approaches have proven useful to address scientific questions by integrating several types of experimental data into a theoretical framework and making testable predictions.


We have previously developed a number of sophisticated mathematical models that unfortunately have little applicability to this problem. In this occasion we have decided to assume the rosids to be Rosa[3] and Viola[4]. Especifically Roses and Violet have been traditionally used as model rosids in which to perform this type of research. Existing literature suggests that roses can be abstracted by the RGB triplet (255,102,204)[5]. On the other hand violet has been reported to correspond the the triplet (159,0,255)[6]. The experimental data is shown in figures 1 and 2 below.

Fig 1. Pink
Fig 2. Violet


By utilizing a computational approach combining both colours and after a number of simulations we derived a number of similar looking colours that our experimentalists have associated with something kind of magenta (personal communication).

Fig 3. Example of a simulation result

Thus, our main result can be mathematical expressed in this way:

1. Roses are red

2. Violets are blue.

3. The Mix is magenta

4. And so are you

5. Signed: your mother


The results presented here are based on solid existing experimental data that has been used to motivate a computational model. The model recapitulates existing results such as the redness  (1) of roses and the (2) blueness of Violets, and produces some new hypotheses yet to be tested (3-5). Although  we are working on the validation of points 3-4, point 5 will need to remain untested until sufficiently sophisticated experimental metrics are developed.