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# Mathematics

## Latest Articles

### How the Slowest Computer Programs Illuminate Math’s Fundamental Limits

The goal of the “busy beaver” game is to find the longest-running computer program. Its pursuit has surprising connections to some of the most profound questions and concepts in mathematics.

### After Centuries, a Seemingly Simple Math Problem Gets an Exact Solution

Mathematicians have long pondered the reach of a grazing goat tied to a fence, only finding approximate answers until now.

### The Computer Scientist Who Shrinks Big Data

Jelani Nelson designs clever algorithms that only have to remember slivers of massive data sets. He also teaches kids in Ethiopia how to code.

### Undergraduate Math Student Pushes Frontier of Graph Theory

At 21, Ashwin Sah has produced a body of work that senior mathematicians say is nearly unprecedented for a college student.

### How to Solve Our Three John Conway-Inspired Puzzles

A numerical puzzle, a geometric puzzle and a game of random patterns — all with connections to the legendary mathematician — elicited an enthusiastic response from readers.

### Some Math Problems Seem Impossible. That Can Be a Good Thing.

Struggling with math problems that can’t be solved helps us better understand the ones we can.

### Searching Symbols for the Rules of Change

Bryna Kra searches for the patterns in sequences of numbers that explain how complicated dynamical systems evolve over time.

### Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki

For almost a century, the anonymous members of Nicolas Bourbaki have written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought.

### Disorder Persists in Larger Graphs, New Math Proof Finds

David Conlon and Asaf Ferber have raised the lower bound for multicolor “Ramsey numbers,” which quantify how big graphs can get before patterns inevitably emerge.