Erica Klarreich

Contributing Correspondent

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

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.


How to Make Impossible Wallpaper

March 5, 2013

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

traveling salesperson 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.


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.


Getting Into Shapes: From Hyperbolic Geometry to Cube Complexes and Back

October 2, 2012

Thirty years after William Thurston articulated a grand mathematical vision, a proof by Ian Agol marks the end of an era in the study of three-dimensional shapes.