Pradeep Mutalik

Puzzle Columnist

Crossword puzzle illustration
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Quanta’s Science and Math Crossword Puzzle

This holiday season, catch up on science and math news while solving our year-end crossword.

Game Theory cake puzzle
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Solution: ‘Triumph or Cooperation in Game Theory and Evolution’

How well does the Nash equilibrium concept from game theory map to the real world?

Game Theory cake puzzle
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How to Triumph and Cooperate in Game Theory and Evolution

In applying game theory to biology and human behavior, have scientists focused too much on competition over cooperation?

Math scuba diving
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Solution: ‘How to Win at Deep Learning’

When equipped with hidden layers, deep neural networks can accomplish nonlinear feats that are difficult even with sophisticated mathematics.

Math scuba diving
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How to Win at Deep Learning

What happens when you increase the number of layers in an artificial neural network?

Selfish DNA
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Solution: ‘Are Genes Selfish or Cooperative?’

Puzzle solvers rediscovered a simple mathematical result of Mendelian genetics and weighed in on a Richard Dawkins metaphor.

Selfish Genes
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Are Genes Selfish or Cooperative?

Can you discover a simple mathematical result of Mendelian genetics that describes how genes interact with each other?

Snake
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Solution: ‘The Prime Rib Problem’

Pradeep Mutalik and Quanta readers explore an open question about prime numbers: What is the lowest valued, longest consecutive sequence of integers that are divisible by a set of prime numbers?

snake
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The Prime Rib Problem

Prime numbers are endlessly fascinating to number theorists and math enthusiasts. This month’s puzzle explores primes by cooking up a whimsical dish of grilled snake ribs.