All Articles

insights puzzle

The Fabulously Fair Feast

For this month’s puzzle, design a Sudoku square to figure out the likes and dislikes of four finicky friends.

Mathematics

Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians.

Quantized Columns

Big Data’s Mathematical Mysteries

Machine learning works spectacularly well, but mathematicians aren’t quite sure why.

Biology

The Incredible Shrinking Sex Chromosome

Nature offers species a panoply of ways to determine an organism’s sex. That flexibility suggests we need not be concerned about losing sex chromosomes, but it raises the question of why such a fundamental property is so variable.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Be Still My Pulsating Sequence’

The solution to this month’s puzzle explains how to find a rule behind a given sequence of numbers and challenges readers to take on a ‘lovely’ unsolved problem.

Mathematics

‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem

Three computer scientists have solved a problem central to a dozen far-flung mathematical fields.

Q&A

The Information Theory of Life

The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.

complex systems

Nature’s Critical Warning System

Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes?

insights puzzle

Be Still My Pulsating Sequence

Can you infer the simple rule behind a number sequence that spikes up and down like the beating of a heart?