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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?

insights puzzle

Solution: ‘Information From Randomness?’

The counterintuitive solution to this month’s puzzle raises philosophical questions about randomness and information.

mathematical physics

Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete

A 115-year effort to bridge the particle and fluid descriptions of nature has led mathematicians to an unexpected answer.

insights puzzle

Can Information Rise From Randomness?

Quanta’s new puzzle column asks you to believe the seemingly impossible — that you can win at a number guessing game with absolutely no information.


The Nine Schoolgirls Challenge

Solve this variation of Thomas Kirkman’s famous 1850 puzzle by arranging girls in walking groups. And think fast — the clock is ticking.