Erica Klarreich

Contributing Correspondent

combinatorics

Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians

A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards.

geometry

Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.

number theory

Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy

A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a long-standing assumption about how they behave.

Computer Science

Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse

Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.

Mathematics

‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem

Three computer scientists have solved a problem central to a dozen far-flung mathematical fields.

number theory

A Magical Answer to an 80-Year-Old Puzzle

Using crowd-sourced and traditional mathematics research, Terence Tao has devised a solution to a long-standing problem posed by the legendary Paul Erdős.

Q&A

The Connoisseur of Number Sequences

For more than 50 years, the mathematician Neil Sloane has curated the authoritative collection of interesting and important integer sequences.

Mathematics

A Design Dilemma Solved, Minus Designs

A 150-year-old conundrum about how to group people has been solved, but many puzzles remain.

Mathematics

For Persi Diaconis’ Next Magic Trick …

A mathematician who has analyzed card shuffling for decades is tackling one final nemesis: “smooshing.”