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Mathematics

An illustration of eyeballs connected to many hands painting the Mona Lisa.
mathematical biology

A Mathematical Model Unlocks the Secrets of Vision

August 21, 2019

Mathematicians and neuroscientists have created the first anatomically accurate model that explains how vision is possible.

An illustration of a sunset beach scene turned into a puzzle.
insights puzzle

The Puzzling Search for Perfect Randomness

August 20, 2019

Does objective, perfect randomness exist, or is randomness merely a product of our ignorance?

A dartboard with pi at its center.
number theory

New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi

August 14, 2019

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

August 13, 2019

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

July 2, 2019

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

June 17, 2019

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

June 13, 2019

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

June 3, 2019

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.