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.

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

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

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.