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.

# Mathematics

### 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.

### Nature’s Critical Warning System

Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes?

### Theorists Draw Closer to Perfect Coloring

A theorem for coloring a large class of “perfect” mathematical networks could ease the way for a long-sought general coloring proof.

### Networks Untangle Malaria’s Deadly Shuffle

By examining regions shared between some of nature's most variable genes, malaria researchers are piecing together an understanding of a deadly parasite.

### A Twisted Path to Equation-Free Prediction

Complex natural systems defy analysis using a standard mathematical toolkit, so one ecologist is throwing out the equations.