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In Times of Scarcity, War and Peace, a Ukrainian Finds the Magic in Math
With her homeland mired in war, the sphere-packing number theorist Maryna Viazovska has become the second woman to win a Fields Medal in the award’s 86-year history.
The Math of Social Distancing Is a Lesson in Geometry
How to safely reopen offices, schools and other public spaces while keeping people six feet apart comes down to a question mathematicians have been studying for centuries.
John Conway Solved Mathematical Problems With His Bare Hands
The legendary mathematician, who died on April 11, was curious, colorful and one of the greatest problem-solvers of his generation.
Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All
Mathematicians used “magic functions” to prove that two highly symmetric lattices solve a myriad of problems in eight- and 24-dimensional space.
In Praise of Simple Problems
The mathematician Richard Schwartz finds the hidden depth lurking in simple mathematical puzzles.
Sphere Packing Solved in Higher Dimensions
The Ukrainian mathematician Maryna Viazovska has solved the centuries-old sphere-packing problem in dimensions eight and 24.
A New Tool to Help Mathematicians Pack
Improvements in how densely spheres and other shapes can be packed together could lead to advances in materials science, deep space communication and theoretical physics.