All Articles

Illustration: boxing gloves
Abstractions blog

Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again

January 14, 2017

Just five days after posting a retraction, László Babai announced that he had fixed the error in his landmark graph isomorphism algorithm.

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.