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Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

The Art of Teaching Math and Science

The impasse in math and science instruction runs deeper than test scores or the latest educational theory. What can we learn from the best teachers on the front lines?

Abstractions blog

All Is Not Fair in Cake-Cutting and Math

When divvying something up, there’s more than one way to define what’s fair.


How to Cut Cake Fairly and Finally Eat It Too

Computer scientists have come up with a bounded algorithm that can fairly divide a cake among any number of people.

Pencils Down: Experiments in Education

Meet the New Math, Unlike the Old Math

The latest effort to overhaul math and science education offers a fundamental rethinking of the basic structure of knowledge. But will it be given time to work?

Quantized Columns

Using Mathematics to Repair a Masterpiece

The author shows how new mathematical techniques can be used to revitalize a 650-year-old work of art.

Abstractions blog

Air Traffic Control for Random Surfaces

Mathematicians have had a hard time finding commonalities in large groups of random shapes — until recently.


Moonshine Master Toys With String Theory

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


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.