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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.
The Math Behind Gerrymandering and Wasted Votes
Simple math can help scheming politicians manipulate district maps and cruise to victory. But it can also help identify and fix the problem.
The Math That Promises to Make the World Brighter
The color of LED lights is controlled by a clumsy process. A new mathematical discovery may make it easier for us to get the hues we want.
Mathematicians Tame Rogue Waves, Lighting Up Future of LEDs
The mathematician Svitlana Mayboroda and collaborators have figured out how to predict the behavior of electrons — a mathematical discovery that could have immediate practical effects.