What's up in
Quantum Field Theory Pries Open Mathematical Puzzle
Mathematicians have struggled to understand the moduli space of graphs. A new paper uses tools from physics to peek inside.
To Teach Computers Math, Researchers Merge AI Approaches
Large language models still struggle with basic reasoning tasks. Two new papers that apply machine learning to math provide a blueprint for how that could change.
Mathematicians Complete Quest to Build ‘Spherical Cubes’
Is it possible to fill space “cubically” with shapes that act like spheres? A proof at the intersection of geometry and theoretical computer science says yes.
The Joy of Asking About Infinity, Jellyfish and the End of the Universe
As The Joy of Why podcast returns for a second season, producer Polly Stryker and host Steven Strogatz invite listeners to join them and their brilliant new guests on another voyage of discovery.
Mathematicians Eliminate Long-Standing Threat to Knot Conjecture
A new proof shows that a knot some thought would contradict the famed slice-ribbon conjecture doesn’t.
Mathematicians Find an Infinity of Possible Black Hole Shapes
In three-dimensional space, the surface of a black hole must be a sphere. But a new result shows that in higher dimensions, an infinite number of configurations are possible.
The Basic Algebra Behind Secret Codes and Space Communication
Whether you’re passing secret notes in class or downloading images from a space probe, Reed-Solomon codes offer an ingenious way to embed information and correct for errors.
Mathematicians Roll Dice and Get Rock-Paper-Scissors
Mathematicians have uncovered a surprising wealth of rock-paper-scissors-like patterns in randomly chosen dice.
Finally, a Fast Algorithm for Shortest Paths on Negative Graphs
Researchers can now find the shortest route through a network nearly as fast as theoretically possible, even when some steps can cancel out others.