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How to Permanently End Diseases
Smallpox was eradicated relatively quickly, but other diseases have proved harder to eliminate. The reasons are a mix of biology and psychology.
Why the Sum of Three Cubes Is a Hard Math Problem
Looking for answers in infinite space is hard. High school math can help narrow your search.
Why I Called It ‘Quantum Supremacy’
Researchers finally seem to have a quantum computer that can outperform a classical computer. But what does that really mean?
On Your Mark, Get Set, Multiply
The way you learned to multiply works, but computers employ a faster algorithm.
Where Quantum Probability Comes From
There are many different ways to think about probability. Quantum mechanics embodies them all.
Ann Nelson Took On the Biggest Problems in Physics
The theoretical particle physicist Ann Nelson, who died on August 4 at age 61, was a font of brilliant ideas and a champion of ending discrimination in the field.
Color Me Polynomial
Polynomials aren’t just exercises in abstraction. They’re good at illuminating structure in surprising places.
Why the Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem Doesn’t Need to Be Enhanced
Decades after the landmark proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, ideas abound for how to make it even more reliable. But such efforts reflect a deep misunderstanding of what makes the proof so important.
How Geometry, Data and Neighbors Predict Your Favorite Movies
A little high school geometry can help you understand the basic math behind movie recommendation engines.