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mathematics

Kaisa Matomäki has proved that properties of prime numbers over long intervals hold over short intervals as well. The techniques she uses have transformed the study of these elusive numbers.
Q&A

Kaisa Matomäki Dreams of Primes

Kaisa Matomäki has proved that properties of prime numbers over long intervals hold over short intervals as well. The techniques she uses have transformed the study of these elusive numbers.

Mathematical insights into how RNA helps viruses pull together their protein shells could guide future studies of viral behavior and function.
molecular biology

The Illuminating Geometry of Viruses

Mathematical insights into how RNA helps viruses pull together their protein shells could guide future studies of viral behavior and function.

John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently.
Game Theory

In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium

John Nash’s notion of equilibrium is ubiquitous in economic theory, but a new study shows that it is often impossible to reach efficiently.

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.
Abstractions blog

Marjorie Rice’s Secret Pentagons

A California housewife who in the 1970s discovered four new types of tessellating pentagons is dead at 94.

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.
geometry

Pentagon Tiling Proof Solves Century-Old Math Problem

A French mathematician has completed the classification of all convex pentagons, and therefore all convex polygons, that tile the plane.

The theoretical computer scientist behind the influential Unique Games Conjecture delights in the wonders of New York’s Washington Square Park, where he ponders the impossible.
Thinking Places

Subhash Khot, Playing Unique Games in Washington Square Park

The theoretical computer scientist behind the influential Unique Games Conjecture delights in the wonders of New York’s Washington Square Park, where he ponders the impossible.

Asexual reproduction can produce twice as many offspring as sexual reproduction without the hassle of finding and courting a mate. So why do most complex animals have two sexes? Why not three?
insights puzzle

Why Are There Two Sexes?

Asexual reproduction can produce twice as many offspring as sexual reproduction without the hassle of finding and courting a mate. So why do most complex animals have two sexes? Why not three?

Big advances in math can happen when mathematicians move ideas into areas where they seem like they shouldn’t belong.
Abstractions blog

The Tricky Translation of Mathematical Ideas

Big advances in math can happen when mathematicians move ideas into areas where they seem like they shouldn’t belong.

June Huh thought he had no talent for math until a chance meeting with a legendary mind. A decade later, his unorthodox approach to mathematical thinking has led to major breakthroughs.
algebraic geometry

A Path Less Taken to the Peak of the Math World

June Huh thought he had no talent for math until a chance meeting with a legendary mind. A decade later, his unorthodox approach to mathematical thinking has led to major breakthroughs.