Erica Klarreich

Contributing Correspondent

Submerged turbulent jet
Mathematics

A Fluid New Path in Grand Math Challenge

February 24, 2014

A daring speculation offers a potential way forward in one of the great unsolved problems of mathematics: the behavior of the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow.

Obfuscation
Computer Science

Perfecting the Art of Sensible Nonsense

January 30, 2014

In a watershed moment for cryptography, computer scientists have proposed a solution to a fundamental problem called “program obfuscation.”

number theory

Together and Alone, Closing the Prime Gap

November 19, 2013

Working on the centuries-old twin primes conjecture, two solitary researchers and a massive collaboration have made enormous advances over the last six months.

quantum computing

The Proof in the Quantum Pudding

August 21, 2013

How do you know if a quantum computer is doing what it claims? A new protocol offers a possible solution and a boost to quantum cryptography.

number theory

Mathematicians Shed Light on Elliptic Curves

July 9, 2013

Two young mathematicians are illuminating a frontier in the study of rational solutions to polynomial equations: the cubics.

Yitang Zhang
Mathematics

Unheralded Mathematician Bridges the Prime Gap

May 19, 2013

A virtually unknown researcher has made a great advance in one of mathematics’ oldest problems, the twin primes conjecture.

symmetry

How to Make Impossible Wallpaper

March 5, 2013

A new collection of arresting wallpaper designs seems to defy the crystallographic restriction.

traveling salesman problem

Computer Scientists Take Road Less Traveled

January 29, 2013

An infinitesimal advance in the traveling salesman problem breathes new life into the search for improved approximate solutions.

cryptography

Privacy by the Numbers: A New Approach to Safeguarding Data

December 10, 2012

A mathematical technique called “differential privacy” gives researchers access to vast repositories of personal data while meeting a high standard for privacy protection.