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insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Road Less Traveled’

The solution to this month’s puzzle uses both mathematics and psychology to explain trouble with choosing the fastest route.


A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption

In the drive to safeguard data from future quantum computers, cryptographers have stumbled upon a thin red line between security and efficiency.

insights puzzle

The Road Less Traveled

When there are two paths to your destination, why does it always seem like you’re on the road with more traffic?

Computer Science

A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

A recent cryptographic breakthrough has proven difficult to put into practice. But new advances show how near-perfect computer security might be surprisingly close at hand.


A Life in Games

The mathematician John Horton Conway’s myriad accomplishments — including the Game of Life, sprouts and the surreal numbers — are the product of a mind at play.

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The Slippery Eel of Probability’

The solution to this month’s puzzle examines the use of abstract probabilities as an antidote to real-world ignorance.


The Connoisseur of Number Sequences

For more than 50 years, the mathematician Neil Sloane has curated the authoritative collection of interesting and important integer sequences.

insights puzzle

The Slippery Eel of Probability

How do you solve probability problems that appear to have more than one correct answer?

Quantized Columns

The Rise of Computer-Aided Explanation

Computers can translate French and prove mathematical theorems. But can they make deep conceptual insights into the way the world works?