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Mathematicians Begin to Tame Wild ‘Sunflower’ Problem
A major advance toward solving the 60-year-old sunflower conjecture is shedding light on how order begins to appear as random systems grow in size.
Decades-Old Computer Science Conjecture Solved in Two Pages
The “sensitivity” conjecture stumped many top computer scientists, yet the new proof is so simple that one researcher summed it up in a single tweet.
A 53-Year-Old Network Coloring Conjecture Is Disproved
In just three pages, a Russian mathematician has presented a better way to color certain types of networks than many experts thought possible.
How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers
A graduate student has helped illuminate a long-suspected connection between addition and multiplication.
A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism
People have known about magnets since ancient times, but the physics of ferromagnetism remains a mystery. Now a familiar puzzle is getting physicists closer to the answer.
Unscrambling the Hidden Secrets of Superpermutations
A science fiction novelist and an internet commenter made breakthroughs on a longstanding problem about the number of ways you can arrange a set of items. What did they discover?
Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem
A new proof from the Australian science fiction writer Greg Egan and a 2011 proof anonymously posted online are now being hailed as significant advances on a puzzle mathematicians have been studying for at least 25 years.