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

# Mathematics

### 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 long-standing 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.

### 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.

### Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse

Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.

### Math Quartet Joins Forces on Unified Theory

A new breakthrough that bridges number theory and geometry is just the latest triumph for a close-knit group of mathematicians.

### Big Data’s Mathematical Mysteries

Machine learning works spectacularly well, but mathematicians aren’t quite sure why.

### ‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem

Three computer scientists have solved a problem central to a dozen far-flung mathematical fields.