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Mathematics

A dartboard with pi at its center.
number theory

New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi

The ancient Greeks wondered when “irrational” numbers can be approximated by fractions. By proving the longstanding Duffin-Schaeffer conjecture, two mathematicians have provided a complete answer.

Art for "Color Me Polynomial"
Quantized Academy

Color Me Polynomial

Polynomials aren’t just exercises in abstraction. They’re good at illuminating structure in surprising places.

Abstractions blog

How Randomness Can Make Math Easier

Randomness would seem to make a mathematical statement harder to prove. In fact, it often does the opposite.

geometry

Random Surfaces Hide an Intricate Order

Mathematicians have proved that a random process applied to a random surface will yield consistent patterns.

Art for "A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved"
graph theory

A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved

In just three pages, a Russian mathematician has presented a better way to color certain types of networks than many experts thought possible.

Q&A

A Mathematician Whose Only Constant Is Change

Amie Wilkinson searches for exotic examples of the mathematical structures that describe change.

Illustration of Fermat's Last Theorem
Quantized Columns

Why the Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem Doesn’t Need to Be Enhanced

Decades after the landmark proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, ideas abound for how to make it even more reliable. But such efforts reflect a deep misunderstanding of what makes the proof so important.

Art for "How Geometry, Data and Neighbors Predict Your Favorite Movies"
Quantized Academy

How Geometry, Data and Neighbors Predict Your Favorite Movies

A little high school geometry can help you understand the basic math behind movie recommendation engines.

Art for "How Feynman Diagrams Revolutionized Physics"
sphere packing

Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All

Mathematicians used “magic functions” to prove that two highly symmetric lattices solve a myriad of problems in eight- and 24-dimensional space.