The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics
Representation theory was initially dismissed. Today, it’s central to much of mathematics.
In Mathematics, It Often Takes a Good Map to Find Answers
Mathematicians try to figure out when problems can be solved using current knowledge—and when they have to chart a new path instead.
Math After COVID-19
Modern mathematics relies on collaboration and travel. COVID-19 is making it increasingly difficult.
John Conway Solved Mathematical Problems With His Bare Hands
The legendary mathematician, who died on April 11, 2020 was curious, colorful and one of the greatest problem-solvers of his generation.
Graced With Knowledge, Mathematicians Seek to Understand
A landmark proof in computer science has also solved an important problem called the Connes embedding conjecture. Mathematicians are working to understand it.
‘Rainbows’ Are a Mathematician’s Best Friend
“Rainbow colorings” recently led to a new proof. It’s not the first time they’ve come in handy.
For Fluid Equations, a Steady Flow of Progress
A startling experimental discovery about how fluids behave started a wave of important mathematical proofs.
Google and IBM Clash Over Milestone Quantum Computing Experiment
Today Google announced that it achieved “quantum supremacy.” Its chief quantum computing rival, IBM, said it hasn’t. The disagreement hinges on what the term really means.
Mathematicians Begin to Tame Wild ‘Sunflower’ Problem
A major advance toward solving the 60-year-old sunflower conjecture is shedding light on how order begins to appear as random systems grow in size.
Computers and Humans ‘See’ Differently. Does It Matter?
In some ways, machine vision is superior to human vision. In other ways, it may never catch up.