135 articles
  • Mathematicians Find Structure in Biased Polynomials

    New work establishes a tighter connection between the rank of a polynomial and the extent to which it favors particular outputs.

  • Ellenberg-HERO-3

    The Math of the Amazing Sandpile

    To understand self-organization in nature, behold the sandpile.

  • In Topology, When Are Two Shapes the Same?

    As topologists seek to classify shapes, the effort hinges on how to define a manifold and what it means for two of them to be equivalent.

  • Computer Scientists Discover Limits of Major Research Algorithm

    The most widely used technique for finding the largest or smallest values of a math function turns out to be a fundamentally difficult computational problem.

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    Why You May Have More Friends Than Your Friends Do

    There’s a rude charm to the title, “Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You.” It’s catchy, like the title of an antagonistic explainer: Here are the causes of your lackluster social life. It sounds more like a New York Times op-ed than an academic paper. But in fact, “Why Your Friends Have More Friends […]

  • Pandemic Puts Mathematical Modeling Through Its Paces

    Mathematical tools that proved essential during the pandemic were in many cases invented by mathematicians who had no particular goal in mind.