Erica Klarreich

Contributing Correspondent

combinatorics

Decades-Old Computer Science Conjecture Solved in Two Pages

The “sensitivity” conjecture stumped many top computer scientists, yet the new proof is so simple that one researcher summed it up in a single tweet.

Art for "A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved"
graph theory

A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved

In just three pages, a Russian mathematician has presented a better way to color certain types of networks than many experts thought possible.

Art for "How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics"
sphere packing

Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All

Mathematicians used “magic functions” to prove that two highly symmetric lattices solve a myriad of problems in eight- and 24-dimensional space.

Art for "Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize"
Abel Prize

Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize

A founder of modern geometric analysis who produced “some of the most dramatic advances in mathematics in the last 40 years,” Uhlenbeck is the first woman to be awarded this top honor.

geometry

Math Duo Maps the Infinite Terrain of Minimal Surfaces

A pair of mathematicians has built on an obscure, 30-year-old mathematical theory to show that soap-filmlike minimal surfaces appear abundantly in a wide range of shapes.

Photo of Tadashi Tokieda
Q&A

A Collector of Math and Physics Surprises

Tadashi Tokieda discovers new physical phenomena by looking at the everyday world with the eyes of a child.

combinatorics

Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem

A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.

Photo of Urmila Mahadev
quantum computing

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem

Urmila Mahadev spent eight years in graduate school solving one of the most basic questions in quantum computation: How do you know whether a quantum computer has done anything quantum at all?

Art for "Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture"
number theory

Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture

Two mathematicians have found what they say is a hole at the heart of a proof that has convulsed the mathematics community for nearly six years.

About the author

Erica Klarreich has been writing about mathematics and science for more than 15 years. She has a doctorate in mathematics from Stony Brook University and is a graduate of the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has been reprinted in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 and The Best Writing on Mathematics 2011.