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mathematics

insights puzzle

A Hat Trick of Hat Puzzles

In three new variations of a famous logic puzzle, what are the best strategies for guessing the color of the hat on your head?

Q&A

Michael Atiyah’s Imaginative State of Mind

At 86, Britain’s preeminent mathematical matchmaker is still tackling the big questions and dreaming of a union between the quantum and the gravitational forces.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Problem With Dancing Shapes’

Assigning elements from a large collection to one of two categories can yield almost “magical” predictions about highly complicated problems without actually solving them.

insights puzzle

The Problem With Dancing Shapes

In a geometrically designed social club, how do dancing, triangles and hexagons mix?

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Sleeping Beauty’s Dilemma’

The solution to this month’s puzzle gets to the bottom of the famously ambiguous Sleeping Beauty probability problem.

insights puzzle

Sleeping Beauty’s Necker Cube Dilemma

Like a visually ambiguous Necker cube, the famous Sleeping Beauty problem can be perceived in two seemingly valid ways.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Fabulously Fair Feast’

The solution to this month’s puzzle explains how to design a Sudoku square to figure out the likes and dislikes of four or eight finicky friends.

Mathematics

Hope Rekindled for Perplexing Proof

Three years ago, a solitary mathematician released an impenetrable proof of the famous abc conjecture. At a recent conference dedicated to the work, optimism mixed with bafflement.

Computer Science

Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse

Computer scientists are abuzz over a fast new algorithm for solving one of the central problems in the field.