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Why the Brain’s Connections to the Body Are Crisscrossed
In all bilaterally symmetrical animals, from humans down to simple worms, nerves cross from one side of the body to the opposite side of the brain. Geometry may explain why.
A New Symmetry Shakes Up Physics
So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of complex quantum systems.
Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility
The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint meets creation.
Is There Math Beyond the Equal Sign?
Can mathematics handle things that are essentially the same without being exactly equal? Category theorist Eugenia Cheng and host Steven Strogatz discuss the power and pleasures of abstraction.
An Applied Mathematician With an Unexpected Toolbox
Lek-Heng Lim uses tools from algebra, geometry and topology to answer questions in machine learning.
Quantum Field Theory Pries Open Mathematical Puzzle
Mathematicians have struggled to understand the moduli space of graphs. A new paper uses tools from physics to peek inside.
Mathematicians Eliminate Long-Standing Threat to Knot Conjecture
A new proof shows that a knot some thought would contradict the famed slice-ribbon conjecture doesn’t.
The Year in Math
Four Fields Medals were awarded for major breakthroughs in geometry, combinatorics, statistical physics and number theory, even as mathematicians continued to wrestle with how computers are changing the discipline.
After a Quantum Clobbering, One Approach Survives Unscathed
A quantum approach to data analysis that relies on the study of shapes will likely remain an example of a quantum advantage — albeit for increasingly unlikely scenarios.