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The Colorful Problem That Has Long Frustrated Mathematicians
The four-color problem is simple to explain, but its complex proof continues to be both celebrated and despised.
The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy
Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics.
Can Our Brains Be Taken Over?
Several real-life pathogens can change a host’s behavior against their will. Here’s what we know about these zombie-like infections.
When Does the Brain Operate at Peak Performance?
The critical brain hypothesis suggests that neural networks do their best work when connections are not too weak or too strong.
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.
What Does It Mean to Align AI With Human Values?
Making sure our machines understand the intent behind our instructions is an important problem that requires understanding intelligence itself.
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 to Think About Relativity
Albert Einstein’s ideas about space-time aren’t exactly intuitive, and they aren’t exactly Einstein’s, either.
Why Mathematicians Study Knots
Far from being an abstract mathematical curiosity, knot theory has driven many findings in math and beyond.