Kevin Hartnett

Senior Writer


How to Force Our Machines to Play Fair

The computer scientist Cynthia Dwork takes abstract concepts like privacy and fairness and adapts them into machine code for the algorithmic age.

LHC Collision Events - Visualization
Abstractions blog

The Math That’s Too Difficult for Physics

How do physicists reconstruct what really happened in a particle collision? Through calculations that are so challenging that, in some cases, they simply can’t be done. Yet.

mathematical physics

Strange Numbers Found in Particle Collisions

An unexpected connection has emerged between the results of physics experiments and an important, seemingly unrelated set of numbers in pure mathematics.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

Meet the New Math, Unlike the Old Math

The latest effort to overhaul math and science education offers a fundamental rethinking of the basic structure of knowledge. But will it be given time to work?

computer security

Hacker-Proof Code Confirmed

Computer scientists can prove certain programs to be error-free with the same certainty that mathematicians prove theorems.


A Unified Theory of Randomness

Researchers have uncovered deep connections among different types of random objects, illuminating hidden geometric structures.


After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?


Taming Superconductors With String Theory

The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.


Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous abc conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism mixed with bafflement.