Erica Klarreich

Contributing Writer

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.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

A Grand Vision for the Impossible

Subhash Khot’s bold conjecture is helping mathematicians explore the precise limits of computation.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces

Maryam Mirzakhani, who became the first woman Fields medalist for drawing deep connections between topology, geometry and dynamical systems, has died of cancer at the age of 40. This is our 2014 profile of her life and work.

2014 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize Winners

A Brazilian Wunderkind Who Calms Chaos

Artur Avila’s solutions to ubiquitous problems in chaos theory have “changed the face of the field,” earning him Brazil’s first Fields Medal.