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probability

An illustration of a pink hand reaching for quantum dice.
Quantized Columns

Where Quantum Probability Comes From

September 9, 2019

There are many different ways to think about probability. Quantum mechanics embodies them all.

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.

Illustration for "How the DNA Computer Program Makes You and Me"
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘The DNA Computer Program’

April 27, 2018

Computer code serves as a useful analogy for what our genes do, but the complexity and messiness of life go well beyond simple analogies and mathematical models.

Illustration for "How the DNA Computer Program Makes You and Me"
insights puzzle

How the DNA Computer Program Makes You and Me

April 5, 2018

Can a set of simple instructions produce complex, three-dimensional living structures?

520px illustration of a man falling and missing a hay stack to land on.
insights puzzle

Solution: ‘When Probability Meets Real Life’

March 2, 2018

When our brains don’t have a good intuition for reasoning with numbers, explicit probabilistic thinking can lead to improved decision-making.

520px illustration of a man falling and missing a hay stack to land on.
insights puzzle

When Probability Meets Real Life

February 8, 2018

When faced with a difficult decision, should you go with your gut or carefully calculate the attendant risks?

Thomas Royen at his home in Schwalbach am Taunus, Germany.
statistics

A Long-Sought Proof, Found and Almost Lost

March 28, 2017

When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming.

Illustration by Lucy Reading-Ikkanda for Quanta Magazine
Abstractions blog

The Devil in the Polling Data

November 11, 2016

The same problem that caused the 2007 financial crisis also tripped up the polling data ahead of this year’s presidential election.

Abstractions blog

Why (Almost) Everyone Was Wrong

November 9, 2016

The results of this year’s presidential election made a mockery of analytical election forecast modelers.