Kevin Hartnett

Senior Writer

artificial intelligence

Foundations Built for a General Theory of Neural Networks

January 31, 2019

Neural networks can be as unpredictable as they are powerful. Now mathematicians are beginning to reveal how a neural network’s form will influence its function.

quantum computing

Milestone Experiment Proves Quantum Communication Really Is Faster

December 19, 2018

In a Paris lab, researchers have shown for the first time that quantum methods of transmitting information are superior to classical ones.

Illustration of lock with polynomials surrounding it
Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption

December 17, 2018

Digital security depends on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. A new proof shows why one method for breaking digital encryption won’t work.

Art for "In the Universe of Equations, Virtually All Are Prime"
number theory

In the Universe of Equations, Virtually All Are Prime

December 10, 2018

Equations, like numbers, cannot always be split into simpler elements.


Amateur Mathematician Finds Smallest Universal Cover

November 15, 2018

Through exacting geometric calculations, Philip Gibbs has found the smallest known cover for any possible shape.

abstractions blog

New Proof Shows Infinite Curves Come in Two Types

November 7, 2018

Alexander Smith’s work on the Goldfeld conjecture reveals fundamental characteristics of elliptic curves.

number theory

Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough

October 31, 2018

A new statistical model appears to undermine long-held assumptions in number theory. How much should it be trusted when all that really matters is proof?

Art for "A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist"

A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist

October 23, 2018

In a major mathematical achievement, a small team of researchers has proven Zimmer’s conjecture.

artificial intelligence

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room

September 20, 2018

A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.