# mathematics

## The Math Trick Behind MP3s, JPEGs, and Homer Simpson’s Face

Over a decade ago, I was sitting in a college math physics course and my professor spelt out an idea that kind of blew my mind. I think it isn’t a stretch to say that this is one of the most widely applicable mathematical discoveries, with applications ranging from optics to quantum physics, radio astronomy, […]

## What Quantum Gravity Needs Is More Experiments

Math won’t solve quantum gravity. Experimentation will.

## A Travel Guide for the Fourth Dimension

Say goodbye to stable orbits and knotted shoelaces.

## How to Build a Search Engine for Mathematics

The surprising power of Neil Sloane’s Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.

## Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?

We’ve predicted and broken human population limits for centuries.

## How Math’s Most Famous Proof Nearly Broke

Andrew Wiles thought he had a solution to an age-old puzzle. Until it began to unravel.

## In Mathematics, Mistakes Aren’t What They Used To Be

Computers can’t invent, but they’re changing the field anyway.

## The Illusion Machine That Teaches Us How We See

A mathematician is using computers to manufacture award-winning illusions.

## The Twin Prime Hero

Rags, riches, and fame in mathematics.

## The Most Symmetrical Objects in the World

If you’ve ever tried to give yourself a haircut, you know just how hard it is to make something precisely symmetrical. We value symmetry so highly in part because it’s really hard to achieve. Here are five of the most symmetrical objects humans have ever crafted, and why they were so hard to make. 1. […]