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A Bird’s-Eye View of Nature’s Hidden Order

Scientists are exploring a mysterious pattern, found in birds’ eyes, boxes of marbles and other surprising places, that is neither regular nor random.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Is Infinity Real?’

Hilbert’s Hotel, an incredibly thin triangle and an elliptical pool table help us test the concept of infinity in the physical world.

Abstractions blog

Handicapping the 2018 Fields Medal

Peter Scholze is a favorite to win one of the highest honors in mathematics for his contributions in number theory and geometry.


The Oracle of Arithmetic

At 28, Peter Scholze is uncovering deep connections between number theory and geometry.

insights puzzle

Is Infinity Real?

Three puzzles test whether the concept of infinity has purchase in the physical world.


Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians

A new series of papers has settled a long-standing question related to the popular game in which players seek patterned sets of three cards.

Olena Shmahalo/Quanta Magazine
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘A Random Place at the Table’

Try these shortcuts for solving problems that seem to require a lengthy calculation.

foundations of mathematics

Mathematicians Bridge Finite-Infinite Divide

A surprising new proof is helping to connect the mathematics of infinity to the physical world.

The mathematician Ken Ono in his office at Emory University in Atlanta.

A Life Inspired by an Unexpected Genius

Greatness was always expected of Ken Ono. But as he struggled with his parents’ expectations, he found solace and inspiration in the life of two-time college dropout — and mathematical genius — Srinivasa Ramanujan, the subject of the film The Man Who Knew Infinity.