The physicist-mathematician Miranda Cheng is working to harness a mysterious connection between string theory, algebra and number theory.

# Mathematics

### A Unified Theory of Randomness

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

### A Bird’s-Eye View of Nature’s Hidden Order

Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random.

### The Oracle of Arithmetic

At 28, Peter Scholze is uncovering deep connections between number theory and geometry.

### Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians

A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards.

### Mathematicians Bridge Finite-Infinite Divide

A surprising new proof is helping to connect the mathematics of infinity to the physical world.

### A Life Inspired by an Unexpected Genius

Greatness was always expected of Ken Ono. But as he struggled with his parents’ expectations, he found solace and inspiration in the life of two-time college dropout — and mathematical genius — Srinivasa Ramanujan, the subject of the film *The Man Who Knew Infinity*.

### Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions

The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.

### Mathematicians Discover Prime Conspiracy

A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a longstanding assumption about how they behave.

### Michael Atiyah’s Imaginative State of Mind

At 86, Britain’s preeminent mathematical matchmaker is still tackling the big questions and dreaming of a union between the quantum and the gravitational forces.