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number theory

Art for "Smaller Is Better: Why Finite Number Systems Pack More Punch"
Abstractions blog

Smaller Is Better: Why Finite Number Systems Pack More Punch

February 11, 2019

Recent progress on the “sum product” problem recalls a celebrated mathematical result that revealed the power of miniature number systems.

number theory

How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers

February 6, 2019

A graduate student has helped illuminate a long-suspected connection between addition and multiplication.

Illustration of lock with polynomials surrounding it
Abstractions blog

Mathematicians Seal Back Door to Breaking RSA Encryption

December 17, 2018

Digital security depends on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. A new proof shows why one method for breaking digital encryption won’t work.

Art for "In the Universe of Equations, Virtually All Are Prime"
number theory

In the Universe of Equations, Virtually All Are Prime

December 10, 2018

Equations, like numbers, cannot always be split into simpler elements.

abstractions blog

New Proof Shows Infinite Curves Come in Two Types

November 7, 2018

Alexander Smith’s work on the Goldfeld conjecture reveals fundamental characteristics of elliptic curves.

number theory

Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough

October 31, 2018

A new statistical model appears to undermine long-held assumptions in number theory. How much should it be trusted when all that really matters is proof?

Art for "Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture"
number theory

Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture

September 20, 2018

Two mathematicians have found what they say is a hole at the heart of a proof that has convulsed the mathematics community for nearly six years.

Photo illustration of Akshay Venkatesh
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Number Theorist Who Bridges Math and Time

August 1, 2018

Akshay Venkatesh, a former prodigy who struggled with the genius stereotype, has won a Fields Medal for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics.”

Photo of Dr. Peter Scholze
2018 Fields Medal and Nevanlinna Prize

A Master of Numbers and Shapes Who Is Rewriting Arithmetic

August 1, 2018

The 30-year-old math sensation Peter Scholze is now one of the youngest Fields medalists for “the revolution that he launched in arithmetic geometry.”