All Articles

Illustration: bucket half-full of amoebas.
insights puzzle

How Many Half-Lives Do You Have?

January 12, 2017

Gaining an intuition about half-life requires some unintuitive thinking.

Riley LeBlanc examines her brain.
neuroscience

Infant Brains Reveal How the Mind Gets Built

January 10, 2017

Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world?

Hyperbolic Crochet
Abstractions blog

How Curvature Makes a Shape a Shape

January 9, 2017

The ancient study of an object’s curvature is guiding mathematicians toward a new understanding of simple equations.

Illustration: boxing glove & graph
Abstractions blog

Complexity Theory Problem Strikes Back

January 5, 2017

The legendary graph isomorphism problem may be harder than a 2015 result seemed to suggest.

Marcus Feldman in his office at Stanford University, CA
Q&A

Finding the Actions That Alter Evolution

January 5, 2017

The biologist Marcus Feldman creates mathematical models that reveal how cultural traditions can affect the evolution of a species.

Julia Set Contest
Abstractions blog

Test Your Mathematical Sculpting Skills

January 5, 2017

Can you turn a two-dimensional fractal into a 3-D object? Break out your scissors and tape for a chance to win a 3-D printed sculpture.

3D "Basilica" Julia set
geometry

3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems

January 3, 2017

By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations.

Abstractions blog

On the Moon’s Far Side, Clues to a Cataclysm?

December 22, 2016

A mission to collect samples from the far side of the moon could answer questions about a barrage of asteroids nearly 4 billion years ago.

Earth scientists hope that their growing knowledge of the planet’s early history will shed light on poorly understood features seen today, from continents to geysers.
geophysics

Explorers Find Passage to Earth’s Dark Age

December 22, 2016

Geochemical signals from deep inside Earth are beginning to shed light on the planet’s first 50 million years, a formative period long viewed as inaccessible to science.