Erica Klarreich

Contributing Correspondent

Art for "How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics"
sphere packing

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

May 13, 2019

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

March 19, 2019

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

March 12, 2019

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

November 27, 2018

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

November 5, 2018

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

October 8, 2018

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

September 20, 2018

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.

Photo illustration of Akshay Venkatesh
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Number Theorist Who Bridges Math and Time

August 1, 2018

Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”

Photo illustration of Constantinos Daskalakis
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths

August 1, 2018

The theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for explicating core questions in game theory and machine learning.