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The Basic Algebra Behind Secret Codes and Space Communication
Whether you’re passing secret notes in class or downloading images from a space probe, Reed-Solomon codes offer an ingenious way to embed information and correct for errors.
The Simple Geometry Behind Brownie Bake Offs and Equal Areas
Proving that two polygons have the same area can be as easy as cutting them up and rearranging the pieces.
How Big Is Infinity?
Of all the endless questions children and mathematicians have asked about infinity, one of the biggest has to do with its size.
How Can Infinitely Many Primes Be Infinitely Far Apart?
Mathematicians have been studying the distribution of prime numbers for thousands of years. Recent results about a curious kind of prime offer a new take on how spread out they can be.
Why Claude Shannon Would Have Been Great at Wordle
A bit of information theory can help you analyze — and improve — your Wordle game.
What a Math Party Game Tells Us About Graph Theory
Play this simple math game with your friends to gain insights into fundamental principles of graph theory.
Why Triangles Are Easy and Tetrahedra Are Hard
The triangle angle sum theorem makes working with triangles easy. What happens when you can’t rely on it?
What Hot Dogs Can Teach Us About Number Theory
The Chinese remainder theorem is an ancient and powerful extension of the simple math of least common multiples.
The Simple Math Behind the Mighty Roots of Unity
Solutions to the simplest polynomial equations — called “roots of unity” — have an elegant structure that mathematicians still use to study some of math’s greatest open questions.