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# applied math

## Latest Articles

### A Number Theorist Who Connects Math to Other Creative Pursuits

Jordan Ellenberg enjoys studying — and writing about — the mathematics underlying everyday phenomena.

### A Scientist Who Delights in the Mundane

From crumpled paper to termite mounds to three-sided coins, L. Mahadevan has turned the whole world into his laboratory.

### Math of the Penguins

Emperor penguins display rigorously geometric spacing and mathematical efficiency when they huddle together for warmth, which may reveal secrets to their overall health.

### New Earthquake Math Predicts How Destructive They’ll Be

The “pinball” model of a slipping fault line borrows from the mathematics of avalanches.

### Cryptography Pioneer Seeks Secure Elections the Low-Tech Way

Ronald Rivest helped come up with the RSA algorithm, which safeguards online commerce. Now he’s hoping to make democratic elections more trustworthy.

### The Map of Mathematics

Explore our surprisingly simple, absurdly ambitious and necessarily incomplete guide to the boundless mathematical universe.

### The Grand Unified Theory of Rogue Waves

Rogue waves — enigmatic giants of the sea — were thought to be caused by two different mechanisms. But a new idea that borrows from the hinterlands of probability theory has the potential to predict them all.

### A Math Theory for Why People Hallucinate

Psychedelic drugs can trigger characteristic hallucinations, which have long been thought to hold clues about the brain’s circuitry. After nearly a century of study, a possible explanation is crystallizing.

### A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World

A century ago, the great mathematician David Hilbert posed a probing question in pure mathematics. A recent advance in optimization theory is bringing Hilbert’s work into a world of self-driving cars.