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The Hidden Heroines of Chaos
Two women programmers played a pivotal role in the birth of chaos theory. Their previously untold story illustrates the changing status of computation in science.
Brains Speed Up Perception by Guessing What’s Next
Your expectations shape and quicken your perceptions. A new model that explains how that happens also suggests it’s time to update theories about sensory perception and decision making.
Proof Finds That All Change Is a Mix of Order and Randomness
All descriptions of change are a unique blend of chance and determinism, according to the sweeping mathematical proof of the “weak Pinsker conjecture.”
A Number Theorist Who Bridges Math and Time
Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”
Why Mathematicians Like to Classify Things
It’s “a definitive study for all time, like writing the final book,” says one researcher who’s mapping out new classes of geometric structures.
New Shapes Solve Infinite Pool-Table Problem
Two “rare jewels” have illuminated a mysterious multidimensional object that connects a huge variety of mathematical work.
3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems
By folding fractals into 3-D objects, a mathematical duo hopes to gain new insight into simple equations.
Nature’s Critical Warning System
Scientists are homing in on a warning signal that arises in complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain and the Earth’s climate. Could it help prevent future catastrophes?
A Twisted Path to Equation-Free Prediction
Complex natural systems defy analysis using a standard mathematical toolkit, so one ecologist is throwing out the equations.