Erica Klarreich

Contributing Writer

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.”

number theory

Mathematicians Chase Moonshine’s Shadow

Researchers are on the trail of a mysterious connection between number theory, algebra and string theory.

Mathematics

Prime Gap Grows After Decades-Long Lull

A year after tackling how close together prime number pairs can stay, mathematicians have now made the first major advance in 76 years in understanding how far apart primes can be.