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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.
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.
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.