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The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy
Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics.
The Basic Algebra Behind Secret Codes and Space Communication
Whether you’re passing secret notes in class or downloading images from a space probe, Reed-Solomon codes offer an ingenious way to embed information and correct for errors.
Probability and Number Theory Collide — in a Moment
Mathematicians are taking ideas developed to study random numbers and applying them to a broad range of categories.
A Mathematician Dancing Between Algebra and Geometry
Wei Ho, the first director of the Women and Mathematics program at the Institute for Advanced Study, combines algebra and geometry in her work on an ancient class of curves.
How Isaac Newton Discovered the Binomial Power Series
Rethinking questions and chasing patterns led Newton to find the connection between curves and infinite sums.
Old Problem About Mathematical Curves Falls to Young Couple
Eric Larson and Isabel Vogt have solved the interpolation problem — a centuries-old question about some of the most basic objects in geometry. Some credit goes to the chalkboard in their living room.
The Sordid Past of the Cubic Formula
The quest to solve cubic equations led to duels, betrayals — and modern mathematics.
What Is the Langlands Program?
The Langlands program provides a beautifully intricate set of connections between various areas of mathematics, pointing the way toward novel solutions for old problems.
How Infinite Series Reveal the Unity of Mathematics
Infinite sums are among the most underrated yet powerful concepts in mathematics, capable of linking concepts across math’s vast web.