The Tricky Translation of Mathematical Ideas
Big advances in math can happen when mathematicians move ideas into areas where they seem like they shouldn’t belong.
Cash for Math: The Erdős Prizes Live On
Paul Erdős placed small bounties on hundreds of unsolved math problems. Over the past 20 years, only a handful have been claimed.
How to Use a Sphere to Talk to Mars
To avoid garbled messages, mathematicians might translate them into geometric form.
A Simple Visual Proof of a Powerful Idea
Ramsey’s theorem predicts a surprising (and useful) consistency in the organization of graphs. Here’s a simple visual proof of how it works.
The Almost-Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem
19th-century mathematicians thought the “roots of unity” were the key to solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. Then they discovered a fatal flaw.
The Hidden Twist to Making a Möbius Strip
The simple Möbius strip illustrates a deep mathematical challenge that has long tormented the field of symplectic geometry.
How Curvature Makes a Shape a Shape
The ancient study of an object’s curvature is guiding mathematicians toward a new understanding of simple equations.
Test Your Mathematical Sculpting Skills
Can you turn a two-dimensional fractal into a 3-D object? Break out your scissors and tape for a chance to win a 3-D printed sculpture.
The Math That’s Too Difficult for Physics
How do physicists reconstruct what really happened in a particle collision? Through calculations that are so challenging that, in some cases, they simply can’t be done. Yet.